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[ser-pas, -pahs]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to go beyond in amount, extent, or degree; be greater than; exceed.
  2. to go beyond in excellence or achievement; be superior to; excel: He surpassed his brother in sports.
  3. to be beyond the range or capacity of; transcend: misery that surpasses description.
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Origin of surpass

1545–55; < Middle French surpasser, equivalent to sur- sur-1 + passer to pass
Related formssur·pass·a·ble, adjectivesur·pass·er, nounun·sur·pass·a·ble, adjectiveun·sur·passed, adjective


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2. beat, outstrip. See excel.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for unsurpassable

Historical Examples

  • Their steadiness, their swiftness and exactitude were unsurpassable.

    History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XVIII. (of XXI.)

    Thomas Carlyle

  • The famous and unsurpassable Burgundy was served with the roast.

  • Surely we cannot blame him for wishing to perpetuate what he held to be unsurpassable!

  • Few else could have written that unsurpassable lyric, Come into the Garden, Maud.

  • At least one of these, reproduced in Plate 31, is an unsurpassable triumph.

    Chats on Japanese Prints

    Arthur Davison Ficke

British Dictionary definitions for unsurpassable


verb (tr)
  1. to be greater than in degree, extent, etc
  2. to be superior to in achievement or excellence
  3. to overstep the limit or range ofthe theory surpasses my comprehension
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Derived Formssurpassable, adjective

Word Origin

C16: from French surpasser, from sur- 1 + passer to pass
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 unsurpassable


1610s, from un- (1) "not" + surpassable (see surpass).

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1550s, from Middle French surpasser "go beyond, exceed, excel," from Old French sur- "beyond" (see sur-) + passer "to go by" (see pass (v.)). Related: Surpassed; surpassing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper