Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of surprise
Meaning of surprise by Wiktionary Dictionary


    Alternative forms


    From Middle English, from Middle French surprise ( “an overtake” ), from noun use of past participle of Old French surprendre ( “to overtake” ), from sur- ( “over” ) + prendre ( “to take” ), from Latin prendere, contracted from prehendere ( “to grasp, seize” )


    • ( RP ) IPA: /səˈpɹaɪz/, X-SAMPA: /s@"pr\aIz/
    • ( US ) enPR: səprīzʹ, IPA: /səˈpɹaɪz/, /sɚˈpɹaɪz/, X-SAMPA: /s@"pr\aIz/, /s@`"pr\aIz/
    • Rhymes: -aɪz


    surprise ( plural: surprises )

    1. Something not expected .
      It was a surprise to find out I owed twice as much as I thought I did .
    2. ( attributive ) Unexpected .
      The surprise attack was devastating .
    3. The feeling that something unexpected has happened .
      Imagine my surprise on learning I owed twice as much as I thought I did .


    Derived terms

Explanation of surprise by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. cause to be surprised

    2. The news really surprised me
    3. attack by storm

    4. come upon or take unawares

    5. She surprised the couple
      He surprised an interesting scene
    1. the act of surprising someone

    2. a sudden unexpected event

    3. the astonishment you feel when something totally unexpected happens to you

    Definition of surprise by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Surprise n. [F. surprise, fr. surprendre, surpris; sur over + prendre to take, L. prehendere. See Sur-, and Prehensile.]
      1. The act of coming upon, or taking, unawares; the act of seizing unexpectedly; surprisal; as, “the fort was taken by surprise”.

      2. The state of being surprised, or taken unawares, by some act or event which could not reasonably be foreseen; emotion excited by what is sudden and strange; a suddenly excited feeling of wonder or astonishment.

      Pure surprise and fear

      Made me to quit the house. Shak.

      3. Anything that causes such a state or emotion.

      4. A dish covered with a crust of raised paste, but with no other contents. [Obs.] King.

      Surprise party, a party of persons who assemble by mutual agreement, and without invitation, at the house of a common friend. [U.S.] Bartlett.

      Syn. -- Wonder; astonishment; amazement.

    2. Surprise v. t. [imp. & p. p. Surprised ; p. pr. & vb. n. Surprising.] [From Surprise, n.: cf. F. surprendre, p. p. surpris.]
      1. To come or fall suddenly and unexpectedly; to take unawares; to seize or capture by unexpected attack.

      Fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Isa. xxxiii. 14.

      The castle of Macduff I will surprise. Shak.

      Who can speak

      The mingled passions that surprised his heart? Thomson.

      2. To strike with wonder, astonishment, or confusion, by something sudden, unexpected, or remarkable; to confound; as, “his conduct surprised me”.

      I am surprised with an uncouth fear. Shak.

      Up he starts,

      Discovered and surprised. Milton.

      3. To lead ( one ) to do suddenly and without forethought; to bring ( one ) into some unexpected state; -- with into; as, “to be surprised into an indiscretion; to be surprised into generosity”.

      4. To hold possession of; to hold. [Obs.]

      Not with me,

      That in my hands surprise the sovereignity. J. Webster.

      Syn. -- See Astonish.