- to strike or occur to with a sudden feeling of wonder or astonishment, as through unexpectedness: Her beauty surprised me.
- to come upon or discover suddenly and unexpectedly: We surprised the children raiding the cookie jar.
- to make an unexpected assault on (an unprepared army, fort, person, etc.).
- to elicit or bring out suddenly and without warning: to surprise the facts from the witness.
- to lead or bring unawares, as into doing something not intended: to surprise a witness into telling the truth.
- an act or instance of surprising or being surprised.
- something that surprises someone; a completely unexpected occurrence, appearance, or statement: His announcement was a surprise to all.
- an assault, as on an army or a fort, made without warning.
- a coming upon unexpectedly; detecting in the act; taking unawares.
- take by surprise,
- to come upon unawares.
- to astonish; amaze: The amount of the donation took us completely by surprise.
Origin of surprise
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for surprised
For his part, Bratton is disappointed but not surprised that the same narrative is already being mapped onto Fry and Spencer.Freaking Out About Age Gaps in Gay Relationships Is Homophobic
January 9, 2015
And finally, this is who most of our political press is—gullible enough to be surprised by either of the first two.Today’s GOP: Still Cool With Racist Pandering?
January 7, 2015
I wouldn't, but I also wouldn't be surprised if Patriots fans didn't properly comprehend the mechanics of sex, either.‘A Gronking to Remember’ Speed Read: 8 Naughtiest Bits
January 7, 2015
None of this would have surprised Kolko, who died earlier this year, or Buchanan, who died in 2013.How Naive is Elizabeth Warren?
December 18, 2014
He was surprised that the central bank did not understand that.How Crimea Crashed the Russian Economy
December 17, 2014
I wouldn't be surprised if the next Consolidated dividend was reduced.
His grasp of details delighted Uncle Peter and surprised Coplen.
If Robert was surprised, Ben Haley had even more reason for astonishment.Brave and Bold
At 7.30 my brother and Windich returned, and were surprised to hear of our adventure.Explorations in Australia
Don't be surprised, Miss:—but you'll see Hannah no more in this house.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
- 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
- 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
- to come upon suddenly and without warning
- to capture unexpectedly or catch unprepared
- to astonish; amaze
Word Origin and History for surprised
1610s, "attacked unexpectedly," past participle adjective from surprise (v.). Meaning "excited by something unexpected" is from 1882.
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.
Idioms and Phrases with surprised
see take by surprise.