tr.v. sur·mount·ed, sur·mount·ing, sur·mounts
1. To overcome (an obstacle, for example); triumph over.
2. To ascend to the top of; climb: surmount a hill.
a. To place something above; top: The lintel was surmounted with a frieze.
b. To be above or on top of: The church steeple surmounts the square.
4. Obsolete To surpass or exceed in amount.
[Middle English surmonten, from Old French surmonter : sur-, sur- + monter, to mount; see MOUNT1.]
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.