surplus Definition

an amount of something left over when requirements have been met; an excess of production or supply over demand.

Using surplus: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "surplus" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The surplus of food was donated to the homeless shelter.

  • Example

    The company has a surplus of inventory.

  • Example

    The budget surplus allowed for increased spending on education.

  • Example

    The surplus of workers led to layoffs.

surplus Synonyms and Antonyms

Idioms Using surplus

  • having more than what is needed or required


    The company's production is currently in surplus, leading to a decrease in prices.

  • to have more income than expenses


    The government aims to run a budget surplus next year.

  • surplus to requirements

    not needed or necessary


    The extra equipment was surplus to requirements and was sold to another company.

Phrases with surplus

  • a situation in which a country exports more goods than it imports


    The trade surplus with China is a major issue in the current political climate.

  • a situation in which a government's income exceeds its expenditures


    The government announced a budget surplus for the first time in years.

  • surplus value

    the difference between the value of a worker's labor and the wages paid to that worker


    Marxist theory argues that capitalists exploit workers by extracting surplus value from their labor.

Origins of surplus

from Old French 'sur-' meaning 'over' + 'plus' meaning 'more'


Summary: surplus in Brief

The term 'surplus' [ˈsɜːpləs] refers to an excess or leftover amount of something after requirements have been met. It can refer to overproduction or oversupply, as in 'The company has a surplus of inventory,' or to budgetary or trade surpluses. Phrases like 'in surplus' and 'surplus to requirements' denote having more than what is needed or required.

How do native speakers use this expression?