(New American Roget's College Thesaurus)
Nouns — surprise, nonexpectation, unexpectedness, the unforeseen, unforeseen contingency or circumstances, miscalculation, astonishment, wonder, thunderclap, turn, blow, shock, bolt from the blue, eye-opener. Informal, one for the book. See inattention. See fear, unpreparedness.
1. not expect, be taken by surprise, miscalculate, not bargain for. Informal, do a double take, sit up and take notice. Slang, fall out.
2. burst, steal, creep, or sneak up on one, be unexpected, come unawares, turn or pop up, drop from the clouds, take by surprise, take unawares, catch napping, catch with one's pants down, boggle the mind, beat all, beat the Dutch. Slang, come from left field, blaze on.
3. surprise, astonish, amaze, astound; dumbfound, startle, dazzle; strike with wonderor awe; raise eyebrows, daze; stun, stagger, strike dumb, stupefy, flabbergast, turn the head, make one's heart skip a beat, hit between the eyes, knock off one's feet, make one's jaw drop, take away one's breath; make one's hair stand on end, make one's eyes pop, take by surprise, set one back on one's heels; ambush, waylay. Informal, bowl over, explode or drop a bombshell, astonish the natives. Slang, knock or throw for a loop, throw a curve, goose, sandbag.
1. surprised, nonexpectant, unsuspecting, unwarned, off one's guard, inattentive. Slang, caught with one's pants down. See wonder.
2. surprising, unexpected, unlooked for, unforeseen, unhoped for, beyond expectation, unheard of, startling, sudden, breathtaking. Slang, mind-blowing.
Adverbs — surprisingly, unexpectedly, abruptly, plump, pop, unawares, without warning, out of a clear [blue] sky, out of nowhere, like a bolt from the blue, out of the blue, suddenly. Informal, smack.
Interjections — dear me! do tell! you don't say! for crying out loud!
Phrases — the unexpected always happens; will wonders never cease; you could have knocked me down with a feather.
Quotations — Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable (Jane Austen), Since a politician never believes what he says, he is surprised when others believe him (Charles de Gaulle), A sudden, bold, and unexpected question doth many times surprise a man and lay him open (Francis Bacon).
Antonyms, see expectation.
(Roget's IV) n.
1. [A feeling of amazement]
Syn. astonishment, wonderment, shock; see wonder 1 .
2. [The cause of surprise, sense 1]
Syn. something unexpected, blow, sudden attack, unexpected good fortune, sudden misfortune, unawaited event, unsuspected plot.
take by surprise,
Syn. startle, assault, sneak up on; see attack 1 , 2 , surprise v. 1 , 2 .
1. [To amaze]
Syn. astonish, astound, amaze, bewilder, confound, shock, overwhelm, dumbfound, unsettle, stun, electrify, petrify, startle, stupefy, stagger, nonplus, take aback, cause wonder, strike with wonder, strike with awe, dazzle, daze, perplex, stagger one's belief, leave open-mouthed, leave aghast, make all agog, flabbergast*, floor*, bowl over*, jar*, flash upon one*, carry one off his feet*, jolt*, take one's breath away*, strike dumb*, make one's hair stand on end*, make one's head swim*, creep up on*, catch unaware*; see also confuse , frighten 1 .
2. [To take unaware]
Syn. take by surprise, catch one in the act of, burst in upon, startle, catch off-balance*, catch flat-footed*, catch one napping*, catch asleep*, nab*, pop in on*; see also sense 1 .
Syn.- surprise implies an affecting with wonder because of being unexpected, unusual, etc. [ I'm surprised at your concern ] ; astonish implies a surprising with something that seems unbelievable [ to astonish with sleight of hand ] ; amaze suggests an astonishing that causes bewilderment or confusion [amazed at the sudden turn of events ] ; astound suggests such a shocking surprise that one is left helpless to act or think [ I was astounded by the proposal ] ; flabbergast is a colloquial term suggesting an astounding to the point of speechlessness
(Roget's 3 Superthesaurus)
1. shock start, bombshell, thunderbolt, bolt from the blue, eye-opener, stunner, unforeseen turn of events.
2. amazement astonishment, astoundment, wonder, shock, incredulity.
1. shock give a start, startle, *drop a bombshell on, stun, open one's eyes, astonish, astound, amaze, *take one's breath away, *blow away, *knock for a loop, flabbergast, daze, take aback, floor.
2. catch off guard catch napping, take unawares, *catch flatfooted, ambush, *catch red-handed.
(Roget's Thesaurus II) verb 1. To come upon, especially suddenly or unexpectedly: catch, hit on (or upon), take. Informal: hit. See SURPRISE. 2. To attack suddenly and without warning: ambuscade, ambush, bushwhack, waylay. See ATTACK. 3. To impress strongly by what is unexpected or unusual: amaze, astonish, astound, awe, startle. Idioms: catch (or take) unawares, take aback. See SURPRISE.

English dictionary for students. 2013.

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