Definition of surreal in US English:

surreal

adjective

  • Having the qualities of surrealism; bizarre.

    ‘a surreal mix of fact and fantasy’
    • ‘The whole episode, he says, had been so surreal he was expecting the strangest of conclusions.’
    • ‘It's surreal, to see somebody who looks like fiction, standing there in the room.’
    • ‘She's also an up-and-coming fiction writer with a penchant for the dark and surreal.’
    • ‘The events still seem to have an insanely surreal and improbable edge to them.’
    • ‘This possibility was so surreal to me that I contemplated doing it just for the experience.’
    • ‘How we manage to exist like this, with these great surreal contrasts, is a mystery to me.’
    • ‘It combined multiple monitors in a striking, somewhat surreal sculptural assembly.’
    • ‘That weird, surreal, juxtaposed image will be one that stays with me forever.’
    • ‘His universe was a bizarre and surreal place but his writing also hinted at serious themes.’
    • ‘It was surreal and very funny - all I needed was a white cat to stroke menacingly and I was set.’
    • ‘Dining out in Japan is a lot more diverse and surreal than it used to be.’
    • ‘The disbelief compounded a bizarre, almost surreal fortnight for the south coast club.’
    • ‘Decision met with a surreal mix of silence and a notable lack of complaints from anyone in a red and white shirt.’
    • ‘I heard somewhere that Salvador Dali used that technique in order to dream up his surreal images.’
    • ‘We can honestly say it's the most surreal piece of artwork we've ever seen - but we love it!’
    • ‘It was strangely haunting and surreal and somehow gave the impression of being French.’
    • ‘She also has a splendid surreal streak, which she doesn't get to use enough.’
    • ‘The crazy collage of styles is here but, overall, the feel is less zany and surreal.’
    • ‘Paul is manic and edgy on stage, with the occasional flash of surreal genius.’
    • ‘These are combined with compositions straight out of film noir at its most surreal.’
    zany, madcap, offbeat, quirky, outlandish, eccentric, idiosyncratic, ridiculous, nonsensical, crazy, absurd, insane, far out, fantastic, bizarre, peculiar, weird, odd, strange, cranky, freakish
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Origin

1930s: back-formation from surrealism.

Pronunciation

surreal

/səˈrēəl//səˈriəl/