verb (used with object), sur·prised, sur·pris·ing.
- to come upon unawares.
- to astonish; amaze: The amount of the donation took us completely by surprise.
Origin of surprise
Related formssur·pris·ed·ly [ser-prahy-zid-lee, -prahyzd-, suh-] /sərˈpraɪ zɪd li, -ˈpraɪzd-, sə-/, adverbsur·pris·er, nounsu·per·sur·prise, nounun·sur·prised, adjective
The original 15th-century meaning of the English noun was “an unexpected or sudden attack without warning” (a surprise attack, therefore, was a redundancy). In the 19th century, the term surprise party came into use with two disparate senses: the earlier one was “a body of soldiers prepared to make a sudden, stealthy attack,” which held close to the original sense of surprise; the second, slightly later one was “a party or celebration planned for someone as a surprise,” which of course has survived as the meaning familiar to us today.
Examples from the Web for surprise
That Stone would slander the democratic, pro-Western, EuroMaidan revolution as a CIA coup is no surprise.
His surprise marriage to theater director Sophie Hunter may have broken hearts, but the squeals of delight were even louder.
The news came as a surprise even to fans of Gordon-Levitt, who was only photographed with McCauley for the first time last May.
To my own surprise, last year I started a book club, which includes writers, editors and an agent.Daphne Merkin on Lena Dunham, Book Criticism, and Self-Examination|Mindy Farabee|December 26, 2014|DAILY BEAST
No surprise then that aside from wealthy coastal suburbs, the Democratic base has shrunk to the urban cores and college towns.
The Perdu at this point—and even in his horror he noted it with surprise—was comparatively shallow.Earth's Enigmas|Charles G. D. Roberts
But perhaps the surprise, annoyance and keen disappointment broke his soldierly heart.
To my surprise the question provoked a burst of anger from the salesman.Adventures of Sherlock Holmes|A. Conan Doyle
To his surprise Dr Plummer did not strike, but returned quietly to his desk.Tom, Dick and Harry|Talbot Baines Reed
He gazed at Mr. Charles F. Furneaux with a surprise that was not altogether flattering.The Postmaster's Daughter|Louis Tracy
British Dictionary definitions for surprise
- to come upon suddenly and without warning
- to capture unexpectedly or catch unprepared
- to astonish; amaze
Derived Formssurprisal, nounsurprised, adjectivesurprisedly (səˈpraɪzɪdlɪ), adverbsurpriser, noun
Word Origin for surprise
Idioms and Phrases with surprise
see take by surprise.