sur·​pris·​ing | \ sər-ˈprī-ziŋ How to pronounce surprising (audio) , sə- \

Definition of surprising

: of a nature that excites surprise

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Examples of surprising in a Sentence

It's not surprising that he doesn't want to go. The changes to the campus were surprising. He shows a surprising lack of concern for others. A surprising number of people were laid off at the factory.
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Recent Examples on the Web But this isn’t surprising as the team still looks for a player to fill its third and final Designated Player slot. Julia Poe,, "Orlando City player spending below league average in 2021 with designated player spot still open," 13 May 2021 Although DeGeneres' show has been one of the powerhouses of daytime TV, the move isn't surprising considering the age and cost of the program. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "Ellen DeGeneres on why her talk show will end in 2022: 'My instinct told me it's time'," 13 May 2021 The high proportion of those withholding judgment is not surprising, DiCamillo said, given that Padilla was just appointed to the Senate in January by Gov. Gavin Newsom to fill the vacancy left by Vice President Kamala Harris. Melanie Mason Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Dianne Feinstein’s approval among Californians still lags, while Alex Padilla gets positive marks in new poll," 13 May 2021 The grape varieties are surprising: 38% grenache (red variety), 25% merlot (red), 23% pedro ximenez, 10% viognier and 4% grenache blanc. Per And Britt Karlsson, Forbes, "Mas Igneus In Spanish Priorat: When Soil, Climate And Winemaker Interact To Make Fabulous Wines," 11 May 2021 That is surprising given the high score at the end. Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: Does Sunday’s fourth quarter portend Tuesday trouble for Heat?," 10 May 2021 With international tourism all but impossible due to the ongoing pandemic and quarantine restrictions, a demand for domestic alternatives isn't surprising -- especially as China is home to 55 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Ben Westcott And Shanshan Wang, CNN, "China is experiencing a rural tourism boom amid the Covid-19 pandemic," 10 May 2021 Yet this is not surprising given the history of irresponsible rhetoric used by MSA members. Benjamin Ayanian, Star Tribune, "Radical rhetoric on U policing is irresponsible," 5 May 2021 Signal’s attack on Facebook isn’t surprising either. Chris Smith, BGR, "Facebook is right: Signal’s viral ads are just a publicity stunt," 5 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'surprising.' 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 surprising

1614, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for surprising

Time Traveler

The first known use of surprising was in 1614

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Statistics for surprising

Last Updated

18 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Surprising.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for surprising



English Language Learners Definition of surprising

: unexpected or unusual : causing surprise


sur·​pris·​ing | \ sər-ˈprī-ziŋ, sə-ˈprī-ziŋ \

Kids Definition of surprising

: causing astonishment : unexpected Although some things were always the same with Abuelita … others were surprising— Pam Muñoz Ryan, Esperanza Rising

Other Words from surprising

surprisingly adverb He is a surprisingly good singer.

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