- The definition of a surprise is something unexpected or unusual.
An example of surprise is an offer of marriage and a ring while on a hiking trip.
- Surprise is defined as to cause someone to feel amazed at something unexpected, do or say something unintentional.
An example of surprise is organizing a birthday party for someone without them knowing about it.
- Surprise means to encounter, capture or attack without warning.
An example of surprise is hiding behind a corner and jumping out just as someone walks past.
transitive verb-·prised′, -·pris′ing
- to come upon suddenly or unexpectedly; take unawares
- to attack or capture suddenly and without warning
- to cause to feel wonder or astonishment by being unexpected
- to present (someone) unexpectedly with a gift, etc.
- to cause by some unexpected action to do or say something unintended: to surprise someone into an admission
- to bring out or elicit by such means: to surprise an admission from someone
Origin of surpriseMiddle English surprysen from Old French surpris, past participle of sorprendre, to surprise, take napping from sur- (see sur-) + prendre, to take (see prize)
- Now Rare the act of surprising or taking unawares
- an unexpected seizure or attack
- the state of being surprised; a feeling aroused by something unusual or unexpected; wonder or astonishment
- something that surprises because unexpected, unusual, etc.
take by surprise
- to come upon suddenly or without warning
- to amaze; astound
transitive verbsur·prised, sur·pris·ing, sur·pris·es
- To cause to feel wonder, astonishment, or amazement, as at something unanticipated: Thinking I was at home, she was surprised to see me in the office. We were surprised that he could recover so quickly.
- a. To encounter or discover suddenly or unexpectedly; take or catch unawares: She surprised him as he was reading her diary.b. To attack or capture suddenly and without warning: surprised the sentries in a predawn raid, wounding several.
- a. To cause (someone) to do or say something unintended or to be in an unintended condition: “There passed a scene … that surprised me into courage to come forward” ( Fanny Burney )b. To elicit or detect through surprise: “She occasionally surprised a look on Jemima's face” ( Marcia Willett )
- The act of surprising or the condition of being surprised: Imagine my surprise on seeing you here.
- Something, such as an unexpected encounter, event, or gift, that surprises.
Origin of surpriseMiddle English surprisen to overcome from Old French surprise feminine past participle of surprendre to surprise sur- sur- prendre to take ( from Latin prehendere, prēndere to seize ; see ghend- in Indo-European roots.)
- Something not expected.
- It was a surprise to find out I owed twice as much as I thought I did.
- The surprise attack was devastating.
- The feeling that something unexpected has happened.
- Imagine my surprise on learning I owed twice as much as I thought I did.
(third-person singular simple present surprises, present participle surprising, simple past and past participle surprised)
- To cause (someone) to feel unusually alarmed or delighted.
- It surprises me that I owe twice as much as I thought I did.
- To do something to (a person) that they are not expecting, as a surprise.
- He doesn't know that I'm in the country - I thought I'd turn up at his house and surprise him.
- (intransitive) To undergo or witness something unexpected.
- He doesn't surprise easily.
- (intransitive) To cause surprise.
- To attack unexpectedly.
- To take unawares.
From Middle English, from Middle French surprise (“an overtake"), from noun use of past participle of Old French surprendre (“to overtake"), from sur- (“over") + prendre (“to take"), from Latin prendere, contracted from prehendere (“to grasp, seize").