Definition of surmount in English:



[with object]
  • 1Overcome (a difficulty or obstacle)

    ‘all manner of cultural differences were surmounted’
    • ‘Having surmounted the hurdle of the committee stage the bill will proceed to become law in the normal way.’
    • ‘The Koreans argue that those obstacles are easily surmounted.’
    • ‘Only considerable skill in narrative can surmount the difficulty of this complete change of tone within the limits of one book.’
    • ‘Determining user context will require software designers to surmount serious engineering hurdles, however.’
    • ‘Yoplait had a stab at chocolate in the late 1980s, but new technologies finally allowed its researchers to surmount the obstacles in adding the flavor to cultured dairy.’
    • ‘To keep growing at its current pace, Houghton must surmount some formidable challenges.’
    • ‘By and large, the problems with the site were successfully surmounted.’
    • ‘Again, his hunger for learning enabled him to surmount the obstacles and extract all he could from the academic and cultural opportunities available to him.’
    • ‘Hanan surmounted the obstacles she recounted in her narrative by travelling first to Egypt, arranging there for her ultimate destination.’
    • ‘Even if the Tories could surmount their self-inflicted difficulties, their position on public spending differs little from Labour.’
    • ‘The scavenger molecules, when added to the bulk, also find it difficult to surmount this barrier and pick up the proton from the protein surface.’
    • ‘In Act Two, though, the excellence of the play surmounts all obstacles, and hits piercingly home.’
    • ‘Access to this market would rely on those exporters that can surmount the challenges.’
    • ‘As one minor obstacle was surmounted another one appeared on the horizon in the shape of my suit jacket and the fact that it was looking at me from inside the car that I couldn't get into.’
    • ‘Moreover, a syndicate bank will find it difficult to surmount the usual exclusion clauses and disclaimers inserted in the documentation.’
    • ‘Fortunately, we have children who have surmounted these difficulties and who have been described by the Children's Lawyer as engaging, active and well-adjusted.’
    • ‘Hill was able to surmount major obstacles like environmental testing of the sediments.’
    • ‘While a poor production can easily reduce a great play to disordered rubbish, it's a bit more difficult for a fine production to surmount the obstacles presented by an absurdly tangled script.’
    • ‘The boy from Tunapuna had fearlessly and single-handedly faced and surmounted all obstacles and carved a niche market from scratch.’
    • ‘He's the only one to have surmounted every obstacle.’
    overcome, conquer, get over, prevail over, triumph over, get the better of, beat, vanquish, master
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  • 2Stand or be placed on top of.

    ‘the tomb was surmounted by a sculptured angel’
    • ‘Four towers surmount the corners of the building.’
    • ‘If you keep heading upwards then sooner or later you'll reach the jewel that surmounts Alfama's crown.’
    • ‘In the centre is the shield of Piedmont Savoy surmounted by the closed crown of the King.’
    • ‘Above this is a four-sided arched structure, and this is surmounted by a rotunda with Corinthian columns enclosing two statues.’
    • ‘An altar surmounted by an urn stands on a high podium in front of the ruins of the Basilica of Maxentius.’
    • ‘The coffin, surmounted by her crown, will be placed in the same spot as her royal predecessors’.’
    • ‘This, along with certain features of its design, has led to the conjecture that it was intended to surmount a tomb on which more facts would have been inscribed but that this part of the plan was abandoned.’
    • ‘Built in 1907, the Port of Liverpool Building is surmounted by a green dome supported on pillars.’
    • ‘A boxy, low-lying structure about 2 feet tall was surmounted by precarious, spindly towers outfitted with tiny ladders rising to a height of 6 feet.’
    • ‘Below these words, a framed miniature, eight lines of text tall, depicts a domed structure surrounded by city walls surmounted by turrets, in turn surrounded by water.’
    • ‘The whole composition is surmounted by the crown of the Holy Roman Empire.’
    cap, top, crown, tip
    rise above, tower above, overtop, dominate
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Late Middle English (also in the sense ‘surpass, be superior to’): from Old French surmonter (see sur-, mount).