—v.t. 1. to strike or occur to with a sudden feeling of wonder or astonishment, as through unexpectedness: Her beauty surprised me. 2. to come upon or discover suddenly and unexpectedly: We surprised the children raiding the cookie jar. 3. to make an unexpected assault on (an unprepared army, fort, person, etc.).
4. to elicit or bring out suddenly and without warning: to surprise the facts from the witness. 5. to lead or bring unawares, as into doing something not intended: to surprise a witness into telling the truth.
—n. 1. an act or instance of surprising or being surprised.
2. something that surprises someone; a completely unexpected occurrence, appearance, or statement: His announcement was a surprise to all. 3. an assault, as on an army or a fort, made without warning.
4. a coming upon unexpectedly; detecting in the act; taking unawares.
5. take by surprise, a. to come upon unawares.
b. to astonish; amaze: The amount of the donation took us completely by surprise.