[suh-ree-uh l, -reel]


of, relating to, or characteristic of surrealism, an artistic and literary style; surrealistic.
having the disorienting, hallucinatory quality of a dream; unreal; fantastic: surreal complexities of the bureaucracy.

Origin of surreal

1935–40; back formation from surrealism; see sur-1, real1
Related formssur·re·al·ly, adverbsur·re·al·i·ty [suh-ree-al-i-tee] /sə riˈæl ɪ ti/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for surreal

Contemporary Examples of surreal

British Dictionary definitions for surreal



suggestive of surrealism; dreamlike


the surreal the atmosphere or qualities evoked by surrealism
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 surreal

1936, back-formation from surrealism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper