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. verb
    get on top of; deal with successfully
    synonyms: conquer, get over, master, overcome, subdue
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    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
  2. verb
    be or do something to a greater degree
    synonyms: exceed, outdo, outgo, outmatch, outperform, outstrip, surpass
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    types:
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    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
  3. verb
    reach the highest point of
    synonyms: scale
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    type of:
    arrive at, attain, gain, hit, make, reach
    reach a destination, either real or abstract
  4. verb
    be on top of
    “The scarf surmounted the gown”
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    types:
    pinnacle
    surmount with a pinnacle
    type of:
    head
    be in the front of or on top of
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