• "'This is a delightful surprise.'"
    "'This is a delightful surprise.'"
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v surprise cause to be surprised "The news really surprised me"
    • v surprise attack by storm; attack suddenly
    • v surprise come upon or take unawares "She surprised the couple","He surprised an interesting scene"
    • n surprise the act of surprising someone
    • n surprise a sudden unexpected event
    • n surprise the astonishment you feel when something totally unexpected happens to you
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The Surprise 79 The Surprise 79
surprised at the time surprised at the time

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: There are at least six universal facial expressions. They are: happiness, sadness, disgust, fear, anger and surprise
    • Surprise A dish covered with a crust of raised paste, but with no other contents.
    • Surprise Anything that causes such a state or emotion.
    • Surprise The act of coming upon, or taking, unawares; the act of seizing unexpectedly; surprisal; as, the fort was taken by surprise .
    • Surprise The state of being surprised, or taken unawares, by some act or event which could not reasonably be foreseen; emotion excited by what is sudden and strange; a suddenly excited feeling of wonder or astonishment. "Pure surprise and fear
      Made me to quit the house."
    • Surprise To come or fall suddenly and unexpectedly; to take unawares; to seize or capture by unexpected attack. "Fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites.""The castle of Macduff I will surprise .""Who can speak
      The mingled passions that surprised his heart?"
    • Surprise To hold possession of; to hold. "Not with me,
      That in my hands surprise the sovereignity."
    • Surprise To lead (one) to do suddenly and without forethought; to bring (one) into some unexpected state; -- with into; as, to be surprised into an indiscretion; to be surprised into generosity.
    • Surprise To strike with wonder, astonishment, or confusion, by something sudden, unexpected, or remarkable; to confound; as, his conduct surprised me. "I am surprised with an uncouth fear.""Up he starts,
      Discovered and surprised ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: 27 percent of U.S. male college students believe life is "a meaningless existential hell." (big surprise, eh?)
    • n surprise The act of coming upon anything unawares, or of taking it suddenly and without warning or preparation: as, the fort was taken by surprise.
    • n surprise The state of being seized with astonishment; an emotion excited by something happening suddenly and unexpectedly; astonishment; amazement.
    • n surprise Anything which causes the feeling of surprise, as an unexpected event or a novel and striking thought.
    • n surprise A dish covered with a crust of raised paste, but with no other contents, or with contents of unexpected quality or variety.
    • n surprise Same as back-scratcher, 2.
    • n surprise Synonyms See surprise, v., and surprising.
    • surprise To come upon unexpectedly; fall upon or assail suddenly and without warning; take or capture one who is off his guard, by an unexpected movement.
    • surprise To seize suddenly; capture.
    • surprise To disconcert; confuse; confound.
    • surprise To strike with sudden astonishment, as by something unexpected or remarkable either in conduct or in speech, or by the appearance of something unusual: often used in a weakened sense.
    • surprise To lead or bring unawares; betray; lead (a person) to do or say something without previous intention: with into: as, to be surprised into making a confession or an explanation.
    • surprise To hold possession of; hold.
    • surprise Synonyms Surprise, Astonish, Amaze, Astound, startle. The italicized words are in the order of strength. They express the effect upon the mind of that which is unexpected and perhaps sudden. To surprise is, literally, to take unawares or suddenly, to affect with wonder: as, I am surprised to find you here. Astonish applies especially to that which is great or striking. Amaze, literally, to put into a maze, is used to express perturbation or bewilderment in one's surprise, and naturally therefore belongs to that which closely concerns one's self or is incomprehensible. To astound is to overwhelm with surprise, to make dumb, helpless, or unable to think. We are surprised at a thing because we did not expect it, astonished because of its remarkableness in some respect, amazed because we cannot understand how it came to pass, astounded so that we do not know what to think or do.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: When Coca-Cola was invented, American tourists that visited Spain were surprised to see that Coke was three times as expensive as a glass of brandy
    • n Surprise sur-prīz′ act of taking unawares: the emotion caused by anything sudden: amazement
    • v.t Surprise to come upon suddenly or unawares: to lead or bring unawares, to betray (with into): to strike with wonder or astonishment: to confuse
    • ***


  • David Hume
    “Nothing is more surprising than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few.”
  • Vladimir Nabokov
    “Life is a great surprise. I don't see why death should not be an even greater one.”
  • Barbara Kingsolver
    Barbara Kingsolver
    “It is surprising how much of memory is built around things unnoticed at the time.”
  • Walter Linn
    Walter Linn
    “It is surprising what a man can do when he has to, and how little most men will do when they don't have to.”
  • Thomas Fuller
    “A man surprised is half beaten.”
  • Thomas Hardy
    “Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. surprise, fr. surprendre, surpris,; sur, over + prendre, to take, L. prehendere,. See Sur-, and Prehensile


In literature:

The surprise of the other lads was expressed in their eyes, but they said nothing.
"The Battery and the Boiler" by R.M. Ballantyne
We should have been somewhat surprised, no doubt, but not greatly excited by that.
"The Big Otter" by R.M. Ballantyne
Having recovered from the first shock of surprise, the family plied their sister with questions.
"The Daughters of Danaus" by Mona Caird
Suddenly the old man had risen to his feet, and it was a surprise to me how tall he was.
"The Trail of '98" by Robert W. Service
Those who met her for the first time were always surprised to find that Mrs. Otway had a grown-up daughter.
"Good Old Anna" by Marie Belloc Lowndes
When father made me read to him, I read with such heartfelt devotion that he was surprised.
"The Autobiography of Madame Guyon" by Jeanne Marie Bouvier de La Motte Guyon
His lodger was a trifle surprised.
"Fair Harbor" by Joseph Crosby Lincoln
His mother looked at him in surprise as he entered the house.
"Chester Rand" by Horatio Alger, Jr
The negro-catcher is not only surprised, but greatly chagrined.
"The Death Shot" by Mayne Reid
I opened the paper; to my surprise the document was in Spanish.
"The War Trail" by Mayne Reid

In poetry:

Far from surprising
to find them late arising!
We think the things you're saying
"Table Hymn" by Jonas Hallgrimsson
So spoke the elder of the two,
And in the captive's eyes
He looked for gleaming ecstasy
But only found surprise.
"A Prisoner in a Dungeon Deep" by Anne Bronte
The great king bowed his head,
And saw the wide surprise
Of the Queen of Sheba's eyes
As he told her what they said.
"King Solomon and the Ants" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Death takes us by surprise,
And stays our hurrying feet;
The great design unfinished lies,
Our lives are incomplete.
"Charles Sumner. (Birds Of Passage. Flight The Fourth)" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
He will sustain our weakest powers
With his almighty arm,
And watch our most unguarded hours
Against surprising harm.
"Psalm 121" by Isaac Watts
But I was forced to feign delight,
And joy in mirth and music sought, -
And mem'ry now recalls the night,
With such surprise and horror fraught,
That reason felt a moment's flight,
And left a mind to madness wrought.
"The Hall Of Justice" by George Crabbe

In news:

What was the most surprising thing you learned about Bill Russell in the course of your research.
It also doesn't come as a surprise for us to hear that Romney won Arizona in Presidentials.
This will come as no surprise to those who know me—and really, it probably isn't all that surprising to those who don't.
It continues to surprise me how many folks are not aware of aromatherapy 's delightful and therapeutic benefits.
Assaying County Commission's Surprise New Chairman, Tony Norman.
WINDHAM—The Portland boys' soccer team was given up for dead just a few weeks ago, but surprise, surprise, the Bulldogs are still standing.
T he celestial glow of a wedding day bride is not-surprise, surprise-completely the product of nature.
Oracles Surprise PeopleSoft Price-Cutting Surprises Nobody.
Flash fiction: A surprise party with an added surprise.
The surprise was that at long last there weren't any more surprises.
Chris Brown was in Paris over the weekend, and surprise, surprise, so was his ex-girlfriend Karreuche Tran.
Billy Talent announce "Surprise, Surprise" show at Horseshoe Tavern on Oct 30.
The Trib reports that the number of Latinos in Chicago is up (not surprisingly), driven by a surge in Latino toddlers (perhaps more surprisingly): "In Chicago, more than 40 percent of children younger than 5 are Latino".
"I was surprised, but not surprised," Seacrest said during his radio show Monday.
As my Dad likes to say, sometimes the best surprise is no surprise.

In science:

Surprisingly, the charged case is much easier than the uncharged one.
Static charged perfect fluid spheres in general relativity
Surprisingly, in many respects it looks simpler than the uncharged case.
Static charged perfect fluid spheres in general relativity
It is therefore no surprise that Villadsen’s ideas play a crucial role in this article.
A simple C*-algebra with a finite and an infinite projection
Massless bosons from the HDM: In the last step we discuss the corresponding limit for massless bosons from the HDM, in order to understand the surprising behaviour shown in the upper part of Fig. 9.
Elliptic Flow from a Transversally Thermalized Fireball
Surprisingly enough, the results for a general IBM Hamiltonian with random one- and two-body interactions chosen independently from a Gaussian distribution of random numbers with zero mean and width σ are very similar .
How random are random nuclei? Shapes, triangles and kites