surpass

verb
sur·​pass | \ sər-ˈpas How to pronounce surpass (audio) \
surpassed; surpassing; surpasses

Definition of surpass

transitive verb

1 : to become better, greater, or stronger than : exceed surpassed her rivals surpassed all expectations
2 : to go beyond : overstep
3 : to transcend the reach, capacity, or powers of a beauty that surpasses description

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from surpass

surpassable \ sər-​ˈpa-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce surpassable (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for surpass

exceed, surpass, transcend, excel, outdo, outstrip mean to go or be beyond a stated or implied limit, measure, or degree. exceed implies going beyond a limit set by authority or established by custom or by prior achievement. exceed the speed limit surpass suggests superiority in quality, merit, or skill. the book surpassed our expectations transcend implies a rising or extending notably above or beyond ordinary limits. transcended the values of their culture excel implies preeminence in achievement or quality and may suggest superiority to all others. excels in mathematics outdo applies to a bettering or exceeding what has been done before. outdid herself this time outstrip suggests surpassing in a race or competition. outstripped other firms in sales

Examples of surpass in a Sentence

Attendance is expected to surpass last year's record. Last quarter, sales surpassed two million. His work regularly surpasses all expectations.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

There’s a fearsome uncanny valley at work, wherein the machines resemble humans but surpass them in their capacity for destruction. Maya Phillips, The New Yorker, "How “Neon Genesis Evangelion” Reimagined Our Relationship to Machines," 21 June 2019 He was always considered to be a strong candidate unless another surpassed him during the process, which concluded last week. Curtis Zupke, latimes.com, "Ducks expected to hire Dallas Eakins as their next coach," 16 June 2019 China’s got an economy that’s going to surpass us at some point. Eric Johnson, Vox, "Russia and China are waging a “shadow war” against the US, and the battlefields will be AI and space, CNN’s Jim Sciutto says," 11 June 2019 The Tenth Street scene of the late 1950s and early ’60s is often remembered as a faint echo of the Abstract Expressionist boom immediately following World War II, too obsessed with imitating Pollock and Kline to surpass them. Jackson Arn, WSJ, "‘Goodbye to Tenth Street’ Review: A Final Sweeping," 15 Feb. 2019 Rodgers had previously said he wasn’t worried about a new deal getting done even while other quarterbacks surpassed him in average-annual value. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Aaron Rodgers reportedly NFL’s highest-paid player after signing extension with Packers," 30 Aug. 2018 Fischer pointed out younger grand firs, which grow in the shade of the Douglas firs that in several hundred years might surpass them in height. Nicole Tsong, The Seattle Times, "Are you up for a new adventure? As in, 200 feet up a Douglas fir?," 8 Aug. 2018 Only one American League third baseman, Jose Ramirez, surpasses him. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros rough up White Sox again to reach 60 wins," 8 July 2018 Her time of 52:00 easily surpassed her previous best of 53:40. Matt Tunseth, Anchorage Daily News, "Skiers put on a show in women’s Mount Marathon race, with Yeaton winning her rookie run," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'surpass.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of surpass

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for surpass

Middle French surpasser, from sur- + passer to pass

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about surpass

Dictionary Entries near surpass

surnape

surnay

surnominal

surpass

surpasser

surpassing

sur place

Statistics for surpass

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for surpass

The first known use of surpass was in 1555

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for surpass

surpass

verb

English Language Learners Definition of surpass

: to be better or greater than (someone or something)

surpass

verb
sur·​pass | \ sər-ˈpas How to pronounce surpass (audio) \
surpassed; surpassing

Kids Definition of surpass

1 : to be greater, better, or stronger than : exceed “You will find that the conditions at a fair will surpass your wildest dreams.”— E. B. White, Charlotte's Web
2 : to go beyond the reach or powers of The task surpassed their strength.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on surpass

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with surpass

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for surpass

Spanish Central: Translation of surpass

Nglish: Translation of surpass for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of surpass for Arabic Speakers

Comments on surpass

What made you want to look up surpass? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

providing supplementary assistance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!