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

  • n. A cut of meat, especially of beef, from the upper part of the loin just in front of the round.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A cut of beef from the lower part of the ribs

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A loin of beef, or a part of a loin.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The loin, or upper part of the loin, of beef, or part covering either kidney.

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

  • n. the portion of the loin (especially of beef) just in front of the rump


Middle English surloine, from Old French surlonge, *surloigne : sur, above (from Latin super; see uper in Indo-European roots) + longe, loigne, loin; see loin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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  • So named from being the upper (sur "over") part of the loin.

    The fiction that it comes from being knighted dates from at least 1655: Thomas Fuller in his Church-history of Britain adds the parenthesis '(so knighted, saith tradition, by this King Henry)' (sc. Henry VIII). It is, however, just a fiction. Swift ascribed the accolade to James I, but presumably not seriously, as it was in his satirical manual Polite Conversation.

    July 30, 2008