Definition of surrogate in English:



  • 1A substitute, especially a person deputizing for another in a specific role or office.

    ‘she was regarded as the surrogate for the governor during his final illness’
    • ‘The sequence-structure distance can be interpreted as a surrogate for the difference in energies between an ancestral and a descendant protein.’
    • ‘Explorers became the conventional heroes of colonial Australia, surrogates for the warriors Australia did not have.’
    • ‘People tend to project disgust properties onto groups of people in their own society who come to figure as surrogates for people's anxieties about their own animality.’
    • ‘Using outcome surrogates can decrease both study duration and sample size.’
    • ‘In representing American economic interests in the absence of a tangible American presence, Fort Union was a surrogate for federal authority.’
    • ‘In addition, a modified version of the portfolio traveled to sixteen venues between 1935 and 1937, with the photographs serving as surrogates for the objects themselves.’
    • ‘It's experts who can inspect, audit, and review, acting as surrogates for the importing party.’
    • ‘Some Balts hoped that, if and when they joined the EU, it would be a surrogate for a formal military alliance.’
    • ‘A written informed consent was obtained from patients' surrogates after describing the nature and the purpose of the study.’
    • ‘Whereas estimator surrogates, they argue, are subject to empirical justification, true surrogates are still dependent on convention.’
    • ‘In an ordinary presidential election, the winner enjoys the right to call the shots on policy as the political surrogate for the electoral majority.’
    • ‘Before enrollment in the study, each patient or the patient's designated healthcare surrogate provided written informed consent.’
    • ‘In contrast to true surrogates, estimator surrogates have true surrogates as their intended objects of representation.’
    • ‘Outcome surrogates must be carefully validated to avoid misleading results.’
    • ‘Not quite useful as measurements of scale, they could be understood to serve as surrogates for her own presence in the cinema of daily life.’
    • ‘Like language, these photographs are surrogates for reality, full of meaning but incomplete in and of themselves.’
    • ‘The use of personal anecdotes about a few hundred students and a secretary as surrogates for the world economy disappointed.’
    • ‘Discuss the patient's need to make advance directives and to identify surrogates for medical and legal decision-making.’
    • ‘The road, both a participant in and a generator of vistas, becomes a surrogate for the human presence.’
    • ‘In contrast, in the local strategy, some biodiversity surrogates may not achieve their target.’
    substitute, proxy, replacement
    agent, deputy, representative, factor, stand-in, standby, stopgap, fill-in, relief, understudy
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1
      ‘the guidelines clearly mention the rights of surrogates and prospective parents’
      ‘their daughter was born via surrogate on March 25th’
    2. 1.2(in the Christian Church) a bishop's deputy who grants marriage licenses.
    3. 1.3A judge in charge of probate, inheritance, and guardianship.


  • 1[attributive] Relating to the birth of a child or children by means of surrogacy.

    ‘paperwork that will allow them to move forward with the surrogate process’
    1. 1.1Denoting a child to whom a woman gives birth as a surrogate mother.
      ‘she has given birth to three surrogate babies’


Early 17th century: from Latin surrogatus, past participle of surrogare elect as a substitute from super- over + rogare ask.