Definition of surrender in English:



  • 1 Cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.

    ‘over 140 rebels surrendered to the authorities’
    • ‘Two days later, on May 2, 1945, all enemy forces in Italy surrendered unconditionally.’
    • ‘This isn't a war against an enemy that will surrender and move on.’
    • ‘The Japanese refused to unconditionally surrender to allied forces.’
    • ‘The policy, while savage, often meant the next towns along the way would surrender rather than resist.’
    • ‘In 1940, the Belgian army surrendered to the invading Germans.’
    • ‘On shore the British moved against the armoured brigade which soon surrendered with the loss of one life.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘However, he was a soldier true at heart and would never surrender without resisting with all the means at his disposal.’
    • ‘Noriega eventually surrendered voluntarily to U.S. authorities.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Women are seized and only released when a male relative wanted by the authorities surrenders.’
    • ‘With no emperor, there would be no one with the authority to surrender.’
    • ‘They surrendered peacefully to police after demanding asylum and meeting a United Nations representative.’
    • ‘The singer surrendered to authorities in Santa Barbara, California, this past week.’
    • ‘Now, the merciless enemy commander wants to surrender.’
    • ‘Enemy soldiers can also surrender and go home as civilians as soon as the war is over.’
    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. 1.1[with object]Give up or hand over (a person, right, or possession), typically on compulsion or demand.
      ‘in 1815 Denmark surrendered Norway to Sweden’
      ‘they refused to surrender their weapons’
      • ‘We have surrendered the rights of majority to appease minorities.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If you're going to surrender your passport, you can't leave the country.’
      • ‘Any such rights were surrendered the moment an attack was carried out.’
      • ‘The day of his accident, Glover had signed the waiver, surrendering any right to sue the company.’
      • ‘Attorneys later took up his appeal on the grounds that he had surrendered his rights under duress.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Concerns, comments, discussions, and debates must be welcome and be out in the open, so that we do not surrender our rights once again.’
      • ‘An indigenous society cannot, as it were, surrender its rights by modifying its way of life.’
      • ‘He thus surrendered his rights to claim severance pay and termination pay pursuant to the procedure under the ESA.’
      • ‘By late September, NATO seeks to gather 3,300 weapons voluntarily surrendered by the rebel National Liberation Army.’
      • ‘Charles would never have surrendered his divine right.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I thought they had already surrendered all rights to privacy.’
      • ‘The suit demanded that Seaman surrender the rights to 374 photos he took of the Lennon family and pay unspecified damages.’
      • ‘In 1931, the French Government was forced to surrender its rights of jurisdiction to the local government.’
      • ‘Will they be satisfied if the Territories be unconditionally surrendered to them?’
      • ‘Farmers sought the protection of powerful lords and in return surrendered certain rights and control over their lands.’
      abandon, leave behind, cast aside, turn one's back on, give up, lose
      give up, relinquish, renounce, forgo, forswear, cede, abdicate, waive, forfeit, sacrifice
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    2. 1.2[with object](in a sports contest) lose (a point, game, or advantage)
      ‘she surrendered only twenty games in her five qualifying matches’
      • ‘They surrendered home advantage following Saturday's 1-1 draw at Horsfall’
      • ‘However, the second half proved to be much different with Davitts surrendering their advantage whilst also finishing the game with 14 men.’
      • ‘Midfielders were determined to surrender possession in the early stages.’
      • ‘Guiseley were in no mood to surrender their lead and indeed they extended it.’
      • ‘Though the Bucs surrendered points, this quasi-stand rallied them to a comeback victory.’
      • ‘Instead we surrendered possession and suddenly it was 32-10, and to me that was the real turning point in the game.’
      • ‘They took the lead thanks to an own goal but surrendered the advantage with five minutes left.’
      • ‘Next up is New Orleans, which has surrendered the second-most points in the league behind the Raiders.’
      • ‘He doesn't want to surrender the advantage he has as a fine hitter.’
      • ‘He started the day with a one-point lead, but surrendered his advantage with four bogeys in an eight-hole stretch mid-round.’
      • ‘The Kings could surrender a Game 1 to Jersey from sheer jitters.’
      • ‘Chela has three break points and Henman surrenders his advantage with a double fault.’
      • ‘While she did display some fine touch of her own, Reta never really got settled, and surrendered the game 9-5.’
      • ‘Playing with focus and energy, they worried Iceland when they had the ball and worked hard off it whenever they surrendered possession.’
      • ‘Rovers were poor on the night and can count themselves lucky not to have surrendered maximum points on the night.’
      • ‘Just four teams have allowed more than the 3.55 goals per game surrendered by the Isles.’
      • ‘They surrendered the opening game to their Carricknabb hosts as Louise Farrand fell to Shelly Fitzsimons.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3Abandon oneself entirely to (a powerful emotion or influence); give in to.
      ‘he was surprised that Miriam should surrender to this sort of jealousy’
      ‘he surrendered himself to the mood of the hills’
      • ‘His carefully ordered routine only begins to unravel when he makes the mistake of surrendering to a very human emotion.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He gave a small smile before closing his eyes and surrendering to sleep.’
    4. 1.4[with object](of an insured person) cancel (a life insurance policy) and receive back a proportion of the premiums paid.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If you surrender your policy after one year, you will lose all the money you have paid the insurance company.’
      • ‘Customers surrender policies early for a number of reasons, including early retirement, unemployment, illness or because they can no longer afford the investment.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This is effectively an exit penalty for anyone who wants to surrender a with-profits policy early and shift their money elsewhere.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Those policies which were surrendered early were heavily penalised and milched for profit.’


  • 1The action of surrendering.

    • ‘Those troops would be loath to accept surrenders from troops who engage in such acts.’
    • ‘There will be mass defections, mass surrenders, insurrection.’
    • ‘There was no element of surrender in the early capitulations made between the powerful Ottoman Turk sultans and various European rulers.’
    • ‘A final series of surrenders followed as hungry Lakota bands capitulated at military posts along the upper Missouri and Yellowstone.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The number of surrenders has by far exceeded our expectations.’
    • ‘The historian must ask: after the massive surrenders of 1877, what were the causes of the breakouts?’
    • ‘However, we have recently seen a significant increase in surrenders.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Besides the quantity of enemies, they didn't look like they would be accepting surrenders or capitulations any time soon.’
    • ‘It's time to leave behind the fort that has stories of sieges, surrenders, trading and treaties to tell.’
    • ‘That view gained ascendancy and credibility when the atomic bomb brought on the final surrender of Japan.’
    • ‘Those surrenders can be particularly troublesome if they result in blanket rules that negate any decision-making process tailored to a particular situation.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Close combat is the only form of warfare that results in surrenders.’
    • ‘The fear factor undoubtedly plays a role in preventing mass surrenders.’
    • ‘In our system of government there is no provision for surrender.’
    • ‘Granted, they're probably concentrating on coaxing surrenders from conscript units on the front, but this is a task that cannot be ignored.’
    relinquishment, surrendering, renunciation, forgoing, forsaking, ceding, cession, abdication, waiving, resignation
    capitulation, submission, yielding, giving in, succumbing, acquiescence, laying down of arms, quitting
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    1. 1.1The action of surrendering a life insurance policy.
      • ‘Such a world exists - not for car owners, but for owners of life insurance policies intended for lapse or surrender.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’


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