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