surprise - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    [countable] an unusual or unexpected event

    There were few surprises at Wimbledon this year.

    come as a surprise:

    Holman’s arrest came as a surprise to the entire community.

    come as no surprise:

    Given the dismal sales performance, the change of management came as no surprise.

    surprises in store (=unexpected things that will happen in the future):

    Let’s hope there are no more unpleasant surprises in store for us.

    be in for a surprise:

    The players could be in for a surprise if they expect an easy victory.

    1. a.
      news or information that seems unusual or unexpected

      I never knew Sheila had been married – that was a real surprise.

    2. b.
      [only before noun] happening unexpectedly

      Henderson led the team to a surprise win in the final.

      They keep the room ready for surprise visitors.

  2. 2
    [uncountable] the feeling you have when something unusual or unexpected happens

    Many students expressed surprise at the news.

    (much) to someone’s surprise:

    Much to my surprise, the restaurant was actually very nice.

  3. 3
    [countable] a present that you are not expecting to receive

    I got you a little surprise for your birthday.