surmount

If you surmount a challenge or difficult situation, you're not just getting over it. You're outdoing yourself, exceeding expectations, and overcoming the task at hand.

This word comes to us from the Old French verb for mount, or climb. Maria sang "climb every mountain..." in The Sound of Music. But she could have just as well meant "surmount every obstacle" — because to surmount means to both reach the highest point of something, like a mountain, and to totally overcome a mountain-size problem.

Definitions of surmount
1

v get on top of; deal with successfully

Synonyms:
get over, master, overcome, subdue
Types:
bulldog
throw a steer by seizing the horns and twisting the neck, as in a rodeo
Type of:
beat, beat out, crush, shell, trounce, vanquish
come out better in a competition, race, or conflict

v be or do something to a greater degree

Synonyms:
exceed, outdo, outgo, outmatch, outperform, outstrip, surpass
Types:
show 20 types...
hide 20 types...
beat, circumvent, outfox, outsmart, outwit, overreach
beat through cleverness and wit
outgrow
grow faster than
outcry, outshout
shout louder than
outroar
roar louder than
outsail
sail faster or better than
outdraw
draw a gun faster, or best someone in a gunfight
outsell
sell more than others
outsell
be sold more often than other, similar products
outpace
surpass in speed
better, break
surpass in excellence
outshine
attract more attention and praise than others
outrange
have a greater range than (another gun)
outweigh
be heavier than
outbrave
be braver than
out-herod
surpass someone in cruelty or evil
outfox
outdo someone in trickery
shame
surpass or beat by a wide margin
outmarch
march longer distances and for a longer time than
outwear
last longer than others
upstage
steal the show, draw attention to oneself away from someone else
Type of:
beat, beat out, crush, shell, trounce, vanquish
come out better in a competition, race, or conflict

v reach the highest point of

Synonyms:
scale
Type of:
arrive at, attain, gain, hit, make, reach
reach a destination, either real or abstract

v be on top of

“The scarf surmounted the gown”
Types:
pinnacle
surmount with a pinnacle
Type of:
head
be in the front of or on top of

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.