1 noun
1 EVENT (C) an unexpected or unusual event: Joan! What a lovely surprise to see you again! | surprise visit/announcement/attack etc: Let's pay grandma a surprise visit. | US forces launched a surprise attack on the Panamanian capital. | come as a surprise (to sb) (=happen unexpectedly): The news that George was leaving came as a surprise to everyone. | it came as no surprise (=you expected it would happen): It came as no surprise when Sarah announced she was pregnant. | there is a surprise in store for sb (=something unexpected is going to happen to them)
2 FEELING (U) the feeling you have when something unexpected or unusual happens: Imagine my surprise when she told me she'd been married twice already. | get/have a surprise: Harwich police got a nasty surprise yesterday when someone left a suspected unexploded bomb inside the police station. | in/with surprise: She noticed with surprise the change in his appearance. | much to my surprise (=in a way that surprises you): Much to my surprise they offered me the job.
3 take sb by surprise to happen unexpectedly: The heavy snowfall had taken us all by surprise.
4 take sb/sth by surprise to suddenly attack a place or an opponent when they are not ready: Rebel forces took the town by surprise.
5 GIFT/PARTY ETC (countable usually singular) an unexpected present, trip etc which you give to someone or organize for them, often on a special occasion: I've got a little surprise waiting for you at home. | Jim's organized a trip to the opera as a surprise for his mum.
6 surprise guest/visitor etc someone who arrives somewhere unexpectedly
7 surprise! spoken used when you are just about to show someone something that you know will surprise them
a) surprise, surprise used when saying in a joking way that you expected something to happen or be true: The American TV networks are - surprise, surprise, full of stories about the royal divorce.
b) spoken used when you suddenly appear in front of someone who you know is not expecting to see you
9 METHOD (U) the use of methods which are intended to cause surprise: an element of surprise: An element of surprise is important to any attack.
2 verb (T)
1 to make someone feel surprised: Paul's news surprised her. | it surprises sb to see/find/know etc: It surprised them to see Jane up so early. | it doesn't surprise me: “Howard and Shari have split up.” “I have to say it doesn't surprise me.” | what surprises sb is: What surprised me most was that she didn't seem to care.
—see shock 1
2 to find, catch, or attack someone when they are not expecting it, especially when they are doing something they should not be doing: surprise sb doing sth: A security guard surprised the burglars in the store room.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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