English

Definition of surprise verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    surprise

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//səˈpraɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//sərˈpraɪz//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they surprise
    BrE BrE//səˈpraɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//sərˈpraɪz//
     
    he / she / it surprises
    BrE BrE//səˈpraɪzɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//sərˈpraɪzɪz//
     
    past simple surprised
    BrE BrE//səˈpraɪzd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//sərˈpraɪzd//
     
    past participle surprised
    BrE BrE//səˈpraɪzd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//sərˈpraɪzd//
     
    -ing form surprising
    BrE BrE//səˈpraɪzɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//sərˈpraɪzɪŋ//
     
    Surprise
     
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  1. 1  to make somebody feel surprised surprise somebody It wouldn't surprise me if they got married soon. surprise somebody how, what, etc… It's always surprised me how popular he is. it surprises somebody that… It surprises me that you've never sung professionally. it surprises somebody to do something Would it surprise you to know that I'm thinking of leaving? Synonymssurprisestartle amaze stun astonish take somebody aback astoundThese words all mean to make somebody feel surprised.surprise to give somebody the feeling that you get when something happens that you do not expect or do not understand, or something that you do expect does not happen; to make somebody feel surprised:The outcome didn’t surprise me at all.startle to surprise somebody suddenly in a way that slightly shocks or frightens them:Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you. The explosion startled the horse.amaze to surprise somebody very much:Just the huge size of the place amazed her.stun (rather informal) (often in newspapers) to surprise or shock somebody so much that they cannot think clearly or speakastonish to surprise somebody very much:The news astonished everyone.amaze or astonish?These two words have the same meaning and in most cases you can use either. If you are talking about something that both surprises you and makes you feel ashamed, use astonish:He was astonished by his own stupidity.take somebody aback [usually passive] (especially of something negative) to surprise or shock somebody:We were rather taken aback by her hostile reaction.astound to surprise or shock somebody very much:His arrogance astounded her.Patterns It surprises somebody/​startles somebody/​amazes somebody/​stuns somebody/​astonishes somebody/​takes somebody aback/​astounds somebody to surprise/​startle/​amaze/​stun/​astonish/​astound somebody that… to surprise/​amaze somebody what/​how… to surprise/​startle/​amaze/​stun/​astonish/​astound somebody to know/​find/​learn/​see/​hear… to be surprised/​startled/​stunned into (doing) something See related entries: Surprise
  2. 2surprise somebody to attack, discover, etc., somebody suddenly and unexpectedly The army attacked at night to surprise the rebels. We arrived home early and surprised a burglar trying to break in. See related entries: Surprise
  3. Word 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’.Extra examples It wouldn’t surprise me if they announced they were going to get married. It wouldn’t surprise me if they got married. The outcome did not surprise me at all. They wanted to surprise their mother and get the breakfast ready. It surprises me that you’ve never sung professionally. It’s always surprised me how popular he is. Would it surprise you to know that I’m thinking of leaving the firm?
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: surprise