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

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Other Words from surpass

surpassable \ sər-​ˈpa-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce surpass (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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Most of the 40,000 refugees who have arrived from the flights out of Kabul are Afghans, and the total number is expected to surpass 50,000 in the coming days and weeks, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Friday. Danielle Duclos, ABC News, 7 Sep. 2021 With the heat index expected to surpass 100 degrees and uncertainty about when power could return, some customers were seen filling multiple gas containers to feed their cars and generators after waiting in long lines. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 2 Sep. 2021 With the heat index expected to surpass 100 degrees and uncertainty about when the power could return, some customers were seen filling multiple gas containers to feed their cars and generators. Washington Post, 31 Aug. 2021 Unfortunately, the space agency has failed to control the cost of the new suit, which is expected to surpass $1 billion, according to an inspector general’s audit released last week, and delay any moon landing until at least 2025. Eric Niiler, Wired, 19 Aug. 2021 The global video games market, estimated at $177.8 billion in 2020, is expected to surpass $200 billion by 2023, forecasts Tom Wijman at research firm Newzoo. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, 24 July 2021 Brands and marketers are increasingly investing financially in women’s sports, and global TV and sponsorship revenue for women’s athletics is expected to surpass $1 billion, according to a report from Deloitte. NBC News, 23 July 2021 In fact, research indicates that the number of IoT devices is expected to surpass 30 billion by 2025. Yash Prakash, Forbes, 25 June 2021 It's now expected to even surpass that, and reach $547 billion by 2024, according to Allied Market Research., 23 June 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for surpass

Time Traveler

The first known use of surpass was in 1555

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Statistics for surpass

Last Updated

14 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Surpass.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for surpass



English Language Learners Definition of surpass

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


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on surpass

Nglish: Translation of surpass for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of surpass for Arabic Speakers


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