Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One that takes the place of another; a substitute.
  • noun A person or animal that functions as a substitute for another, as in a social or family role.
  • noun A surrogate mother.
  • noun In Freudian psychology, a figure of authority who takes the place of the father or mother in a person's unconscious or emotional life.
  • noun Law A judge in New York and some other states having jurisdiction over the probate of wills and the settlement of estates.
  • adjective Substitute.
  • transitive verb To put in the place of another, especially as a successor; replace.
  • transitive verb To appoint (another) as a replacement for oneself.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In a general sense, a substitute; a person appointed or deputed to act for another, particularly the deputy of an ecclesiastical judge, most commonly of a bishop or his chancellor.
  • noun In the State of New York, a judge having jurisdiction over the probate of wills and the administration of estates.
  • To put in the place of another; substitute.
  • noun Something that is substituted for another thing; something employed to serve the purpose or perform the functions of another.
  • noun Specifically, a substance used in industrial chemistry instead of some other of more or less similar properties and usually of greater value. Thus the product of the action of sulphur on colza-oil is sometimes used as a ‘rubber surrogate’ to mix with genuine vulcanized india-rubber.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb rare To put in the place of another; to substitute.
  • noun A deputy; a delegate; a substitute.
  • noun engraving The deputy of an ecclesiastical judge, most commonly of a bishop or his chancellor, especially a deputy who grants marriage licenses.
  • noun In some States of the United States, an officer who presides over the probate of wills and testaments and yield the settlement of estates.
  • noun a surrogate mother.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A substitute (usually of a person, position or role).
  • noun A person or animal that acts as a substitute for the social or pastoral role of another, such as a surrogate mother.
  • noun chiefly UK A deputy for a bishop in granting licences for marriage.
  • noun US law : A judicial officer of limited jurisdiction, who administers matters of probate and intestate succession and, in some cases, adoptions.
  • noun A surrogate or surrogate key is a unique identifier for either an entity in the modeled world or an object in the database.
  • noun computing Any of a range of Unicode codepoints which are used in pairs in UTF-16 to represent characters beyond the Basic Multilingual Plane.
  • adjective Of, concerning, relating to or acting as a substitute.
  • verb transitive To replace or substitute something with something else; appoint a successor.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun someone who takes the place of another person
  • noun a person appointed to represent or act on behalf of others
  • adjective providing or receiving nurture or parental care though not related by blood or legal ties

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Latin surrogātus, past participle of surrogāre, to substitute, variant of subrogāre; see subrogate.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin surrogatus, perfect passive participle of surrogare ("ask"); a variant of subrogare, from sub ("under") + rogare ("ask").

Examples

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  • New political sense of the word used in this Doonesbury with attendant helpful commentary.

    December 1, 2008

  • There was a Bruce Willis movie named this.

    July 12, 2012