surprise

[ser-prahyz, suh-]
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verb (used with object), sur·prised, sur·pris·ing.

noun


Idioms

    take by surprise,
    1. to come upon unawares.
    2. to astonish; amaze: The amount of the donation took us completely by surprise.

Origin of surprise

1425–75; (noun) late Middle English < Anglo-French surpris(e), Middle French, past participle of surprendre, equivalent to sur- sur-1 + pris (masculine), prise (feminine) < Latin prēnsus, -sa, equivalent to prēnd(ere), contracted variant of prehendere to take (see prehension) + -tus, -ta past participle suffix; (v.) late Middle English surprisen < Anglo-French surpris(e) (past participle), Middle French, as above
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

Synonyms for surprise

1. Surprise, astonish, amaze, astound mean to strike with wonder because of unexpectedness, strangeness, unusualness, etc. To surprise is to take unawares or to affect with wonder: surprised at receiving a telegram. To astonish is to strike with wonder by something unlooked for, startling, or seemingly inexplicable: astonished at someone's behavior. To amaze is to astonish so greatly as to disconcert or bewilder: amazed at such an evidence of stupidity. To astound is to so overwhelm with surprise that one is unable to think or act: astounded by the news.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for surprised

Contemporary Examples of surprised

Historical Examples of surprised

  • I wouldn't be surprised if the next Consolidated dividend was reduced.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • His grasp of details delighted Uncle Peter and surprised Coplen.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • If Robert was surprised, Ben Haley had even more reason for astonishment.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • At 7.30 my brother and Windich returned, and were surprised to hear of our adventure.

  • Don't be surprised, Miss:—but you'll see Hannah no more in this house.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson


British Dictionary definitions for surprised

surprise

verb (tr)

to cause to feel amazement or wonder
to encounter or discover unexpectedly or suddenly
to capture or assault suddenly and without warning
to present with something unexpected, such as a gift
(foll by into) to provoke (someone) to unintended action by a trick, etcto surprise a person into an indiscretion
(often foll by from) to elicit by unexpected behaviour or by a trickto surprise information from a prisoner

noun

the act or an instance of surprising; the act of taking unawares
a sudden or unexpected event, gift, etc
the feeling or condition of being surprised; astonishment
(modifier) causing, characterized by, or relying upon surprisea surprise move
take by surprise
  1. to come upon suddenly and without warning
  2. to capture unexpectedly or catch unprepared
  3. to astonish; amaze
Derived Formssurprisal, nounsurprised, adjectivesurprisedly (səˈpraɪzɪdlɪ), adverbsurpriser, noun

Word Origin for surprise

C15: from Old French, from surprendre to overtake, from sur- 1 + prendre from Latin prehendere to grasp; see prehensile
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for surprised
adj.

1610s, "attacked unexpectedly," past participle adjective from surprise (v.). Meaning "excited by something unexpected" is from 1882.

surprise

n.

late 14c., "unexpected attack or capture," from Middle French surprise "a taking unawares," from noun use of past participle of Old French surprendre "to overtake," from sur- "over" (see sur-) + prendre "to take," from Latin prendere, contracted from prehendere "to grasp, seize" (see prehensile). Meaning "something unexpected" first recorded 1590s, that of "feeling caused by something unexpected" is c.1600. Meaning "fancy dish" is attested from 1708.

A Surprize is ... a dish ... which promising little from its first appearance, when open abounds with all sorts of variety. [W. King, "Cookery," 1708]

Surprise party originally was a military detachment (1841); festive sense is attested from 1858.

surprise

v.

late 14c., from Anglo-French surprise, fem. past participle of surprendre (see surprise (n.)). Related: Surprised; surprising.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with surprised

surprise

see take by surprise.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.