Definition of October surprise in US English:

October surprise


  • Any political event orchestrated (or apparently orchestrated) in the month before an election, in the hopes of affecting the outcome.

    ‘even the much-vaunted October surprise might fail to move the race in one direction or another’
    • ‘It is, in short, the definitive October surprise.’
    • ‘And so the North Koreans would only succeed in isolating themselves further if they're somehow trying to gain negotiating leverage or their own October surprise.’
    • ‘Much of the blame for Enron's collapse has focused on the partnerships, but the seeds of its destruction were planted well before the October surprises.’
    • ‘What do you think the most historical October surprise has been?’
    • ‘The worst, according to Parvin, is Gary, famous for his October surprise conspiracy theory in the early Reagan years.’
    • ‘Well, you know, everyone's been talking about the October surprise.’
    • ‘That of course came as this year's October surprise.’