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verb (used with object)
  1. to yield (something) to the possession or power of another; deliver up possession of on demand or under duress: to surrender the fort to the enemy; to surrender the stolen goods to the police.
  2. to give (oneself) up, as to the police.
  3. to give (oneself) up to some influence, course, emotion, etc.: He surrendered himself to a life of hardship.
  4. to give up, abandon, or relinquish (comfort, hope, etc.).
  5. to yield or resign (an office, privilege, etc.) in favor of another.
verb (used without object)
  1. to give oneself up, as into the power of another; submit or yield.
  1. the act or an instance of surrendering.
  2. Insurance. the voluntary abandonment of a life-insurance policy by the owner for any of its nonforfeiture values.
  3. the deed by which a legal surrendering is made.

Origin of surrender

1425–75; (v.) late Middle English surrendren < Anglo-French surrender, Old French surrendre to give up, equivalent to sur- sur-1 + rendre to render1; (noun) < Anglo-French; Old French surrendre, noun use of the infinitive
Related formssur·ren·der·er, nounnon·sur·ren·der, nounpre·sur·ren·der, nounpro·sur·ren·der, adjectiveun·sur·ren·dered, adjectiveun·sur·ren·der·ing, adjective

Synonyms for surrender

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Synonym study

1. See yield. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for surrender

Contemporary Examples of surrender

Historical Examples of surrender

British Dictionary definitions for surrender


  1. (tr) to relinquish to the control or possession of another under duress or on demandto surrender a city
  2. (tr) to relinquish or forego (an office, position, etc), esp as a voluntary concession to anotherhe surrendered his place to a lady
  3. to give (oneself) up physically, as or as if to an enemy
  4. to allow (oneself) to yield, as to a temptation, influence, etc
  5. (tr) to give up (hope, etc)
  6. (tr) law to give up or restore (an estate), esp to give up a lease before expiration of the term
  7. (tr) obsolete to return or render (thanks, etc)
  8. surrender to bail to present oneself at court at the appointed time after having been on bail
  1. the act or instance of surrendering
  2. insurance the voluntary discontinuation of a life policy by its holder in return for a consideration (the surrender value)
  3. law
    1. the yielding up or restoring of an estate, esp the giving up of a lease before its term has expired
    2. the giving up to the appropriate authority of a fugitive from justice
    3. the act of surrendering or being surrendered to bail
    4. the deed by which a legal surrender is effected
Derived Formssurrenderer, noun

Word Origin for surrender

C15: from Old French surrendre to yield, from sur- 1 + rendre to render
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 surrender

early 15c., "to give (something) up," from Old French surrendre "give up, deliver over" (13c.), from sur- "over" (see sur-) + rendre "give back" (see render). Reflexive sense of "to give oneself up" (especially as a prisoner) is from 1580s. Related: Surrendered; surrendering.


early 15c., legalese, "a giving up" (of an estate, land grant, interest in property, etc.), from Anglo-French surrendre infinitive used as a noun, from Old French surrendre "give up, deliver over" (see surrender (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper