definitions
  • synonyms

surprising

[ ser-prahy-zing, suh- ]
/ sərˈpraɪ zɪŋ, sə- /
|
SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR surprising ON THESAURUS.COM

adjective

causing surprise, wonder, or astonishment.

RELATED CONTENT

The Surprising Meaning Of Honeymoon ExplainedThese days honeymoon can be a noun that describes the post-wedding vacation or an adjective used to describe the place where the newlyweds sleep during their vacation, as in the honeymoon suite. But, what does honeymoon really mean?
READ MORE

RELATED WORDS

Nearby words

surprise, surprise party, surprise symphony, surprised, surprisedly, surprising, surprisingly, surra, surratt, surratt, mary eugenia, surreal

Origin of surprising

First recorded in 1570–80; surprise + -ing2
Related formssur·pris·ing·ly, adverbun·sur·pris·ing, adjectiveun·sur·pris·ing·ly, adverb

Definition for surprising (2 of 2)

surprise

[ ser-prahyz, suh- ]
/ sərˈpraɪz, sə- /

verb (used with object), sur·prised, sur·pris·ing.

noun

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

Synonym study

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.

Word story

The English noun surprise comes from late Middle English, from Anglo-French and Middle French surprise(e), a noun use of the past participle of surprendre “to seize, grasp,” literally, “to overtake," from the French prefix sur- “excessive, over-,” and the verb prendre “to take.”
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for surprising

British Dictionary definitions for surprising (1 of 2)

surprising

/ (səˈpraɪzɪŋ) /

adjective

causing surprise; unexpected or amazing
Derived Formssurprisingly, adverbsurprisingness, noun

British Dictionary definitions for surprising (2 of 2)

surprise

/ (səˈpraɪz) /

verb (tr)

noun

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

Idioms and Phrases with surprising

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.