1. An additional sum added to the usual cost or amount paid.
2. An additional or excessive amount or burden: "individuals ... carrying a surcharge of aggressive energy" (Truman Capote).
a. A new value or denomination overprinted on a postage or revenue stamp.
b. The stamp to which a new value has been applied.
4. Law The act of surcharging.
tr.v. sur·charged, sur·charg·ing, sur·charg·es
1. To charge (a person or organization) an additional sum.
a. To overload or overfill: clouds that are surcharged with rain.
b. To overwhelm or oppress: "He is full of morbid thoughts and surcharged with a sense of worthlessness" (Bernard Lown).
3. To print a surcharge on (a postage or revenue stamp).
4. Law To show an omission of a credit in (an account).
[Middle English, from surchargen, to overtax, from Old French surcharger : sur-, sur- + chargier, to charge; see CHARGE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.