Definition of surprise in English:

surprise

noun

  • 1An unexpected or astonishing event, fact, etc.:

    ‘the announcement came as a complete surprise’
    • ‘Schulhoff's concerto is full of surprises, but it emerges as a cohesive musical statement.’
    • ‘The trip here was full of surprises, like the fact that Jon got incredibly seasick almost the minute we left.’
    • ‘On stage there was yet another pleasant surprise in store for the audience.’
    • ‘As prison dramas go, it does have a few surprises up its sleeve.’
    • ‘There were two major surprises in the games played this weekend.’
    • ‘The modern political convention is a tightly scripted event with no surprises.’
    • ‘The competitive broomball season came to an exciting conclusion this week with a playoff that was full of surprises.’
    • ‘Surprise in war is achieved by doing the unexpected and the avoidance of unpleasant surprises is what military intelligence is all about.’
    • ‘It's the latest shocker in a romance that was full of surprises right from the start.’
    • ‘The closing night of the show was unexpected and full of surprises.’
    • ‘Although the repertoire may have few surprises, the fact that the gigs are taking place at all is remarkable.’
    • ‘This state visit to Britain is already full of surprises, and it's just barely started.’
    • ‘It is easy to forget when you live here, but London is a wonderful city and full of nice surprises even for those of us who see it every day.’
    • ‘The political environment in Louisiana is always full of surprises but is seldom surprising.’
    • ‘A great many surprises are lurking between now and November.’
    • ‘A surprise was sprung on a retiring vicar at a school assembly last week.’
    • ‘Every year brings new adventures, experiences and surprises.’
    • ‘There could be some unpleasant surprises in store.’
    • ‘Unexpected events or surprises trigger two kinds of reflection.’
    • ‘According to specialists, the championships provided no unexpected surprises.’
    shock, bolt from of the blue, bolt out of the blue, thunderbolt, bombshell, revelation, source of amazement, rude awakening, eye-opener
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    1. 1.1[mass noun] A feeling of mild astonishment or shock caused by something unexpected:
      ‘much to her surprise, she'd missed him’
      • ‘Arthur spun in his chair, not an ounce of surprise on his face.’
      • ‘Grant had an interesting expression, something of mild surprise, anger, and annoyance.’
      • ‘The others gasp in surprise, shocked at the unexpected action taken by their usually quiet and nice friend.’
      • ‘It is unlikely that anything you say will cause him or her shock or surprise.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, Cory shook his head, a look of surprise on his face.’
      • ‘Imagine my complete surprise when shortly before sunset, a whole convoy of vehicles entered the camp site.’
      • ‘She looked down in mild surprise and disdain before breaking off the shaft and holding it up to inspect it more closely.’
      • ‘Then watch in fear, surprise and alarm as the local copper enters the tunnel at the other end on his pushbike.’
      • ‘Biting into my chocolate muffin, I glanced down at my watch, noticing the time with mild surprise.’
      • ‘He doesn't even try to hide the surprise in his voice at this.’
      • ‘I, to no one's surprise or disgust no doubt, shall not be attending.’
      • ‘She watched with mild surprise as the prince knelt next to the chest and lifted the lid.’
      • ‘One detaches himself from the herd, I note with mild surprise, and heads outside with me.’
      • ‘Rachel stared after him in mild surprise, her eyebrow arched and her emerald gaze thoughtful.’
      • ‘With mild surprise, he noticed that she was wearing the breeches and shirt of a man.’
      • ‘Slightly embarrassed I'd said too much, I glanced at my plate in mild surprise.’
      • ‘Her parents looked at her, a mild bit of surprise showing in their faces.’
      • ‘I shook my head to find Alex staring at me in surprise, shock, and most of all fright.’
      • ‘He raised his eyebrows in a mild expression of surprise.’
      • ‘With mild surprise, she noticed that the sound came from the foot of the cliffs on which she stood.’
      astonishment, amazement, incredulity, bewilderment, stupefaction, wonder, confusion, disbelief
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    2. 1.2[as modifier] Denoting something done or happening unexpectedly:
      ‘a surprise attack’
      • ‘For his part, Eisenhower feared a surprise attack and war by miscalculation.’
      • ‘They were sitting near the camp fire, next to each other, with daggers at their sides in case of a surprise enemy attack.’
      • ‘Denmark is living up to its billing as the surprise package of the tournament.’
      • ‘The Luftwaffe, however, by its initial surprise attacks on airfields, at once greatly reduced this disparity.’
      • ‘During this surprise attack, the Marines were taking fire from three sides.’
      • ‘Two surprise visitors drop in, and then things begin to happen.’
      • ‘Insurgents engage in surprise attacks at night and then withdraw on previously chosen routes.’
      • ‘Initially, the air security service was tasked with preventing surprise attack by enemy aviation.’
      • ‘This surprise attack was not a symmetric attack, but an asymmetric one.’
      • ‘Without the aide of a surprise attack, they were not much of a challenge.’
      • ‘He's even throwing me a surprise birthday party (I found out).’
      • ‘Others are engineers who manned machine guns to defend comrades from surprise attacks.’
      • ‘He kept an eye out for a surprise attack as he regenerated his wounds.’
      • ‘On the last day of February, I got a surprise visit from Will.’
      • ‘To General Hue, it looked like the ideal time to launch his surprise attack.’
      • ‘Now the question was, should she tell him about Alex's surprise visit?’
      • ‘The danger of a surprise attack or ambush is very real.’
      • ‘There was nothing left to do but pay her friend a little surprise visit.’
      • ‘The actual submarine specialized in surprise attacks on enemy merchant ships.’
      • ‘At the same time, it dawned on us that this wasn't going to be any surprise attack.’
  • 2Bell-ringing
    [as modifier] Denoting a complex method of change-ringing:

    ‘surprise major’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 (of something unexpected) cause (someone) to feel mild astonishment or shock:

    ‘I was surprised at his statement’
    [with object and clause] ‘Joe was surprised that he enjoyed the journey’
    • ‘She was hardly surprised to see Carden laughing as if he had never been mad.’
    • ‘I was very surprised by the result.’
    • ‘On the train I ask the chatty parent whether he was surprised at the appointment of a woman.’
    • ‘I was quite surprised to discover how this improved my own reading concentration.’
    • ‘We were all a bit surprised to hear that Shay was a horse person.’
    • ‘He was surprised at the feelings Kate had provoked in him since he'd met her the previous day.’
    • ‘I was pleasantly surprised to see it reviewed in USA Today, this morning.’
    • ‘Needless to say, I was somewhat surprised by this reaction.’
    • ‘You'd be surprised what those ladies know about what's going on.’
    • ‘Her recommendations are surprising in light of the findings in the body of the report.’
    • ‘Many people are very surprised to hear this.’
    • ‘Time and again the team were surprised by positive responses to this approach.’
    • ‘Keanu looked up to the sky and was pleasantly surprised to see the hawk.’
    • ‘He looked around at the furnishings of the cell, and was mildly surprised for a moment.’
    • ‘Devon didn't look surprised by my outburst.’
    • ‘A lot of people are actually very surprised to hear that they are in any way unusual.’
    • ‘Tommy is somewhat surprised by her frosty reaction as she turns and leads the way inside without a word.’
    • ‘The researchers were pleasantly surprised to find 56 more gorillas.’
    • ‘What would your fans be surprised to know about you?’
    • ‘For some reason, I am not surprised by this revelation.’
    unexpected, unanticipated, unforeseen, unpredictable, unpredicted
    astonishing, amazing, startling, astounding, striking, staggering, incredible, extraordinary, dazzling, breathtaking, remarkable, wonderful, unusual
    mind-blowing, amazeballs
    astonished, amazed, in amazement, nonplussed, taken aback, startled, astounded, stunned, flabbergasted, staggered, shocked, shell-shocked, stupefied, open-mouthed, dumbfounded, dumbstruck, speechless, at a loss for words, thunderstruck, dazed, benumbed, confounded, agape, goggle-eyed, wide-eyed, jolted, shaken up
    bowled over, knocked for six, floored, flummoxed, caught on the hop, caught on the wrong foot, unable to believe one's ears, unable to believe one's eyes
    astonish, amaze, nonplus, startle, astound, stun, flabbergast, stagger, shock, stop someone in their tracks, stupefy, leave open-mouthed, take someone's breath away, dumbfound, daze, benumb, confound, take aback, jolt, shake up
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    1. 1.1 Capture, attack, or discover suddenly and unexpectedly:
      ‘he surprised a gang stealing scrap metal’
      • ‘Information that is not tracked could later surprise the Army on the battlefield.’
      • ‘As Ralph, Piggy, and the remaining boys sit on the beach, some of the hunters surprise them and ambush them.’
      • ‘To be able to surprise the U.S. military, they will try to learn more about it than the military knows about itself.’
      • ‘An aircraft would on many occasions surprise a surfaced U-boat and attack it with both cannon fire and depth charges.’
      • ‘When they got in they could then surprise the occupants, catching them off guard easily.’
      take by surprise, catch unawares, catch off guard, catch red-handed, catch in the act, catch napping, catch out, burst in on, catch someone with their pants down, catch someone with their trousers down, catch in flagrante delicto
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Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘unexpected seizure of a place, or attack on troops’): from Old French, feminine past participle of surprendre, from medieval Latin superprehendere seize.

Pronunciation:

surprise

/səˈprʌɪz/