Definition of surrender in English:



  • 1no object Stop resisting to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.

    ‘over 140 rebels surrendered to the authorities’
    • ‘He was severely wounded during the fighting and was arrested once the rebels had surrendered.’
    • ‘The more infrastructure destroyed, the more quickly the enemy is willing to surrender, or so the theory goes.’
    • ‘On shore the British moved against the armoured brigade which soon surrendered with the loss of one life.’
    • ‘Enemy soldiers can also surrender and go home as civilians as soon as the war is over.’
    • ‘With no emperor, there would be no one with the authority to surrender.’
    • ‘The Japanese refused to unconditionally surrender to allied forces.’
    • ‘Noriega eventually surrendered voluntarily to U.S. authorities.’
    • ‘Women are seized and only released when a male relative wanted by the authorities surrenders.’
    • ‘In 1940, the Belgian army surrendered to the invading Germans.’
    • ‘The singer surrendered to authorities in Santa Barbara, California, this past week.’
    • ‘Though the garrison surrendered without much of a fight, many were still put to the sword.’
    • ‘At the sight of tank guns, the seemingly stubborn occupants surrendered almost immediately without a fight.’
    • ‘They surrendered peacefully to police after demanding asylum and meeting a United Nations representative.’
    • ‘Six confessed militants who surrendered to authorities under a government amnesty in July have since been released.’
    • ‘They never surrender without a fight, and the review process will add to their armoury.’
    • ‘However, he was a soldier true at heart and would never surrender without resisting with all the means at his disposal.’
    • ‘Now, the merciless enemy commander wants to surrender.’
    • ‘The policy, while savage, often meant the next towns along the way would surrender rather than resist.’
    • ‘This isn't a war against an enemy that will surrender and move on.’
    • ‘Two days later, on May 2, 1945, all enemy forces in Italy surrendered unconditionally.’
    capitulate, give in, give up, give oneself up, yield, concede, submit, climb down, give way, defer, acquiesce, back down, cave in, relent, succumb, quit, crumble
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    1. 1.1with object (in sport) lose (a point, game, or advantage) to an opponent.
      ‘she surrendered only twenty games in her five qualifying matches’
      • ‘He doesn't want to surrender the advantage he has as a fine hitter.’
      • ‘York City could soon face a scrap to save their Football League status if they continue to surrender points in the alarming fashion that has been displayed in the club's last two outings.’
      • ‘He started the day with a one-point lead, but surrendered his advantage with four bogeys in an eight-hole stretch mid-round.’
      • ‘They surrendered home advantage following Saturday's 1-1 draw at Horsfall’
      • ‘Next up is New Orleans, which has surrendered the second-most points in the league behind the Raiders.’
      • ‘Instead we surrendered possession and suddenly it was 32-10, and to me that was the real turning point in the game.’
      • ‘While she did display some fine touch of her own, Reta never really got settled, and surrendered the game 9-5.’
      • ‘Though the Bucs surrendered points, this quasi-stand rallied them to a comeback victory.’
      • ‘Midfielders were determined to surrender possession in the early stages.’
      • ‘The Kings could surrender a Game 1 to Jersey from sheer jitters.’
      • ‘Rovers were poor on the night and can count themselves lucky not to have surrendered maximum points on the night.’
      • ‘Guiseley were in no mood to surrender their lead and indeed they extended it.’
      • ‘They surrendered the opening game to their Carricknabb hosts as Louise Farrand fell to Shelly Fitzsimons.’
      • ‘Chela has three break points and Henman surrenders his advantage with a double fault.’
      • ‘That was enough to catch halfway leader Chris DiMarco, who surrendered a massive advantage when he struggled to a five-over 77.’
      • ‘All three have a central striker and two wider attackers, who drop back to become part of a five-man midfield when possession is surrendered.’
      • ‘They took the lead thanks to an own goal but surrendered the advantage with five minutes left.’
      • ‘Just four teams have allowed more than the 3.55 goals per game surrendered by the Isles.’
      • ‘However, the second half proved to be much different with Davitts surrendering their advantage whilst also finishing the game with 14 men.’
      • ‘Playing with focus and energy, they worried Iceland when they had the ball and worked hard off it whenever they surrendered possession.’
    2. 1.2surrender to Give in to (a powerful emotion or influence)
      ‘the president has surrendered to panic and is making things worse’
      ‘he surrendered himself to the mood of the hills’
      • ‘He gave a small smile before closing his eyes and surrendering to sleep.’
      • ‘In dealing with the issue, however, the minister expressed the view that we have been surrendering to the idea that society is essentially responsible for all ills.’
      • ‘His carefully ordered routine only begins to unravel when he makes the mistake of surrendering to a very human emotion.’
      • ‘The three basic skills are attending to, befriending and surrendering to emotions that make us uncomfortable.’
      • ‘I say that we cannot surrender to those temptations.’
  • 2with object Give up or hand over (a person, right, or possession), typically on compulsion or demand.

    ‘in 1815 Denmark surrendered Norway to Sweden’
    ‘the UK is opposed to surrendering its monetary sovereignty’
    • ‘The criteria they appear to be using is that any nation that either actively sponsors, gives shelter to or ‘turns a blind eye’ to terrorist activities effectively surrenders its sovereign rights.’
    • ‘To frighten the people sufficiently that they will gladly surrender their individual rights and those of their neighbors for the promise of security, you have to atomize them.’
    • ‘I thought they had already surrendered all rights to privacy.’
    • ‘An indigenous society cannot, as it were, surrender its rights by modifying its way of life.’
    • ‘It is an example of a leader and a party that will surrender the right of this country to make decisions according to its own values and its own judgments.’
    • ‘Attorneys later took up his appeal on the grounds that he had surrendered his rights under duress.’
    • ‘The day of his accident, Glover had signed the waiver, surrendering any right to sue the company.’
    • ‘We have surrendered the rights of majority to appease minorities.’
    • ‘Charles would never have surrendered his divine right.’
    • ‘Concerns, comments, discussions, and debates must be welcome and be out in the open, so that we do not surrender our rights once again.’
    • ‘The suit demanded that Seaman surrender the rights to 374 photos he took of the Lennon family and pay unspecified damages.’
    • ‘Some of these organizations caused their opponents serious discomfiture and served notice that the landlords were not going to surrender their rights and privileges without a fight.’
    • ‘By late September, NATO seeks to gather 3,300 weapons voluntarily surrendered by the rebel National Liberation Army.’
    • ‘Will they be satisfied if the Territories be unconditionally surrendered to them?’
    • ‘It all hinges on whether artists are considered to be employees of the labels, and as such obliged to surrender copyright automatically to their labels.’
    • ‘He thus surrendered his rights to claim severance pay and termination pay pursuant to the procedure under the ESA.’
    • ‘Farmers sought the protection of powerful lords and in return surrendered certain rights and control over their lands.’
    • ‘In 1931, the French Government was forced to surrender its rights of jurisdiction to the local government.’
    • ‘Any such rights were surrendered the moment an attack was carried out.’
    • ‘If you're going to surrender your passport, you can't leave the country.’
    give up, relinquish, renounce, forgo, forswear, cede, abdicate, waive, forfeit, sacrifice
    abandon, leave behind, cast aside, turn one's back on, give up, lose
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    1. 2.1 (of a person assured) cancel (a life insurance policy) and receive back a proportion of the premiums paid.
      • ‘If you surrender your policy after one year, you will lose all the money you have paid the insurance company.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, although it was agreed that we should surrender the policy, the firm continued to take the premiums.’
      • ‘If you do choose to surrender the policy it would be a good idea to use the proceeds to pay off the mortgage, making sure that there would be no penalties incurred.’
      • ‘Customers surrender policies early for a number of reasons, including early retirement, unemployment, illness or because they can no longer afford the investment.’
      • ‘The policy can be surrendered for cash at any time after one year at a special surrender value and there are no deductions if the policy is surrendered any time after three years.’
      • ‘This is effectively an exit penalty for anyone who wants to surrender a with-profits policy early and shift their money elsewhere.’
      • ‘It is essential that those surrendering their policies do not take more than their fair share of the fund.’
      • ‘Consumers who are forced to surrender their policy early would lose any cover and the premiums they had paid.’
      • ‘Those policies which were surrendered early were heavily penalised and milched for profit.’
      • ‘However, in a surprise move, the bank said on Friday that it would also compensate anyone who had surrendered a policy by paying them a lump sum.’
      • ‘About 30% are cancelled in the first few years and 40% are surrendered or sold mid-term.’
    2. 2.2 Give up (a lease) before its expiry.
      • ‘Earlier this week, Agora claimed the majority of stallholders had said they were prepared to surrender their existing leases.’
      • ‘Legal action will be taken against the tenants of a dilapidated landmark York building - unless they agree to surrender the lease.’
      • ‘The tenants of a dilapidated York building allegedly turned down £250,000 to surrender the lease to the city council.’
      • ‘Development of the hall is to be completed in 2008, when the council will surrender its lease of the building and the car park.’
      • ‘Oscars nightclub, on the Longleat estate, shut its doors in January after its lease was surrendered.’
      • ‘After a number of different owners the leases were surrendered in 1896.’
      • ‘The Pastoral Land Act law says that we surrender our lease for a subdivision at no cost to the public.’
      • ‘I had to surrender my lease for the taking of land.’


mass noun
  • 1The action of surrendering to an opponent or powerful influence.

    ‘the final surrender of Germany on 8 May 1945’
    count noun ‘the colonel was anxious to negotiate a surrender’
    • ‘It certainly seems that mass numbers of surrenders from the existing troops, as they exist, and the end of snipers and potshots coming from the local populace will indicate an end to this.’
    • ‘False surrenders thus amount to a very striking case of a military ‘burning its bridges.’’
    • ‘There are those who risked ambush in the taking of surrenders.’
    • ‘Those surrenders can be particularly troublesome if they result in blanket rules that negate any decision-making process tailored to a particular situation.’
    • ‘The victor would then be able to starve his opponent into surrender, or at least so disrupt his trade that his economy would collapse and he would no longer be able to continue the war.’
    • ‘The Allied policy of unconditional surrender also discouraged many from laying down their arms until there was no other option open.’
    • ‘That view gained ascendancy and credibility when the atomic bomb brought on the final surrender of Japan.’
    • ‘The historian must ask: after the massive surrenders of 1877, what were the causes of the breakouts?’
    • ‘In our system of government there is no provision for surrender.’
    • ‘However, we have recently seen a significant increase in surrenders.’
    • ‘Those troops would be loath to accept surrenders from troops who engage in such acts.’
    • ‘The fear factor undoubtedly plays a role in preventing mass surrenders.’
    • ‘Besides the quantity of enemies, they didn't look like they would be accepting surrenders or capitulations any time soon.’
    • ‘There will be mass defections, mass surrenders, insurrection.’
    • ‘Granted, they're probably concentrating on coaxing surrenders from conscript units on the front, but this is a task that cannot be ignored.’
    • ‘A final series of surrenders followed as hungry Lakota bands capitulated at military posts along the upper Missouri and Yellowstone.’
    • ‘Close combat is the only form of warfare that results in surrenders.’
    • ‘There was no element of surrender in the early capitulations made between the powerful Ottoman Turk sultans and various European rulers.’
    • ‘The number of surrenders has by far exceeded our expectations.’
    • ‘It's time to leave behind the fort that has stories of sieges, surrenders, trading and treaties to tell.’
    capitulation, submission, yielding, giving in, succumbing, acquiescence, laying down of arms, quitting
    relinquishment, surrendering, renunciation, forgoing, forsaking, ceding, cession, abdication, waiving, resignation
    View synonyms
  • 2The action of surrendering a lease or life insurance policy.

    • ‘Such a world exists - not for car owners, but for owners of life insurance policies intended for lapse or surrender.’
    • ‘As a consequence of the approach adopted by insurance companies on the early surrender of endowment policies, a market has developed in second-hand endowment policies.’
    • ‘I conclude on the evidence that the only reason for TMD's involvement at this stage was the early surrender of the lease and that these costs would not have been incurred but for that indication.’


  • surrender to bail

    • Duly appear in court after release on bail.

      • ‘He was also convicted of failing to surrender to bail.’
      • ‘A 16-year-old youth, alleged to have been involved in the robbery, has not surrendered to bail and is being sought.’
      • ‘Marshall, who was convicted of the assault in July last year, had also been found guilty of three counts of failing to surrender to bail.’
      • ‘The offences include thefts, stealing cars, assaults on police officers, drugs offences and failing to surrender to bail.’
      • ‘The youngsters also had violent histories with one having previous convictions for battery, assault, and assault with actual bodily harm and the other having convictions for battery, affray and failing to surrender to bail.’


Late Middle English (chiefly in legal use): from Anglo-Norman French (see sur-, render).