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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Even if we could surmount all of those problems, where would that leave us?
▪ The chosen device for surmounting these problems on the Oxford Polytechnic Modular Course is the matrix.
▪ Co. surmounted a similar problem when it moved from a partnership to a public corporation.
▪ None of the problems are so bad that we can't surmount them.
▪ The arch is surmounted by a triumphant statue of Columbus.
▪ All these cathedrals were intended to have many towers surmounted by spires.
▪ Even if these obstacles can be surmounted, they are likely to slow the process of achieving food self-sufficiency.
▪ Mutual anger surmounts mutual embarrassment through the rest of the long dark carriage ride.
▪ The whole was surmounted by a magnificent clock-tower and backed by a massive train-shed of five spans.
▪ There are, however, many cultural barriers to be surmounted on the path toward a unified and modernized Sierra Leone.
▪ There is a threshold effect that is difficult to surmount.
▪ Together, horse and driver conspired to surmount the hill.
▪ Under Mrs Thatcher, it at last appeared that our chronic industrial and economic difficulties were being surmounted.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Surmount \Sur*mount"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Surmounted; p. pr. & vb. n. Surmounting.] [OE. sourmounten, OF. surmonter, sormonter, F. surmonter; sur over + monter to mount. See Sur-, and Mount, v. i.]

  1. To rise above; to be higher than; to overtop.

    The mountains of Olympus, Athos, and Atlas, overreach and surmount all winds and clouds.
    --Sir W. Raleigh.

  2. To conquer; to overcome; as, to surmount difficulties or obstacles.

  3. To surpass; to exceed.

    What surmounts the reach Of human sense I shall delineate.

    Syn: To conquer; overcome; vanquish; subdue; surpass; exceed.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 14c., "to rise above, go beyond," from Old French surmonter "rise above," from sur- "beyond" (see sur- (1)) + monter "to go up" (see mount (v.)). Meaning "to prevail over, overcome" is recorded from late 14c. Related: Surmounted; surmounting.


vb. to get over; to overcome

  1. v. get on top of; deal with successfully; "He overcame his shyness" [syn: overcome, get over, subdue, master]

  2. be on top of; "The scarf surmounted the gown"

  3. reach the highest point of; "We scaled the Mont Blanc" [syn: scale]

  4. be or do something to a greater degree; "her performance surpasses that of any other student I know"; "She outdoes all other athletes"; "This exceeds all my expectations"; "This car outperforms all others in its class" [syn: surpass, outstrip, outmatch, outgo, exceed, outdo, outperform]

Usage examples of "surmount".

His head, disproportionately large, was surmounted by a black billycock hat with a very flat brim.

While it took a considerable effort and no small amount of time, Thayla, aided by Blad, managed to surmount the wall, using finger and toeholds invisible from a distance.

As he surmounted it he saw Nevada with his two riders come into sight across the lake, and another glance showed Modoc, with his followers, emerging by the mouth of the river.

The good King was seated on horseback about half way up the mount, a morion on his head, surmounted by a crown, which left his manly features exposed to public view, as, with cool and considerate eye, he perused each rank as it passed him, and returned the salutation of the leaders.

While the Bengal Sepoys were obstructed by obstacles which they could not surmount, the Bombay column gained an entrance.

Emmeline entered her home by a hall pannelled with dark wainscot, and surrounded by carved doors, surmounted with heavy entablatures.

New York and the Ninth Avenue El was still news, she had heard something similar one evening as she walked past the closed door of a black tavern: the sound of steel strings plucked and stretched in a bleak, minor pentatonic scale that somehow managed to sound joyful, as though even the deepest sorrow might be surmounted with the aid of a guitar and the will to make music.

A khatvanga consists of a long wand surmounted by the vase of life, a freshly severed head, a decomposing head, a skull and a pronged thunderbolt symbol.

He was a short, pursy man, normally scant of breath, but for the last five years he had walked these tops on his daily occupations, and so friendly and kindly had they come to seem to him that he did not realise any arduousness in surmounting them.

There were inevitable awkward moments that could only be surmounted by the exercise of considerable tact, and the hours which Lady Arabella passed sitting to Quarrington for her portrait, while Magda wandered alone through the woods or sculled a solitary boat up the river, helped to minimize the strain considerably.

The Splin-terscat led, his brownish quilled body shambling through brush and into grasses, under brambles and over logs as if they were all one, a single obstacle that required the same amount of effort to surmount.

The Splinterscat led, his brownish quilled body shambling through brush and into grasses, under brambles and over logs as if they were all one, a single obstacle that required the same amount of effort to surmount.

They entered an elevator and Salter took them to the top, where they stepped out to a promenade atop the temple that surmounted the museum.

The young subbies and lieutenants had gone through their usual destructive form of field-gun drill, using sofas as guns and the wardroom table as the barrier they were expected to surmount.

You reproach the army of Italy for having surmounted all difficulties--for subduing all Italy for having twice passed the Alps--for having marched on Vienna, and obliged Austria to acknowledge the Republic that, you, men of Clichy, would destroy.