sur·​ren·​der | \ sə-ˈren-dər How to pronounce surrender (audio) \
surrendered; surrendering\ sə-​ˈren-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce surrender (audio) \

Definition of surrender

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand surrendered the fort
b : to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another
2a : to give (oneself) up into the power of another especially as a prisoner
b : to give (oneself) over to something (such as an influence)

intransitive verb

: to give oneself up into the power of another : yield



Definition of surrender (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the action of yielding one's person or giving up the possession of something especially into the power of another
b : the relinquishment by a patentee of rights or claims under a patent
c : the delivery of a principal into lawful custody by bail

called also surrender by bail

d : the voluntary cancellation of the legal liability of an insurance company by the insured and beneficiary for a consideration
e : the delivery of a fugitive from justice by one government to another
2 : an instance of surrendering

Choose the Right Synonym for surrender


relinquish, yield, resign, surrender, abandon, waive mean to give up completely. relinquish usually does not imply strong feeling but may suggest some regret, reluctance, or weakness. relinquished her crown yield implies concession or compliance or submission to force. the troops yielded ground grudgingly resign emphasizes voluntary relinquishment or sacrifice without struggle. resigned her position surrender implies a giving up after a struggle to retain or resist. surrendered their claims abandon stresses finality and completeness in giving up. abandoned all hope waive implies conceding or forgoing with little or no compulsion. waived the right to a trial by jury

Examples of surrender in a Sentence

Verb The enemy finally surrendered after three days of fighting. The gunman surrendered and was taken into custody. The troops were forced to surrender the fort. They were required to surrender their passports. the surrendering of land to the government He refused to surrender to despair. He refused to surrender himself to despair. Noun Their surrender was formalized in a treaty. They demanded an unconditional surrender. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb State Police negotiators spoke with Mack and his family by phone to persuade him to surrender but were unsuccessful. Matt Yan,, 27 July 2022 Voters who have not returned their absentee ballot and wish to vote in-person on Election Day can surrender their ballot at their polling location. Arpan Lobo, Detroit Free Press, 15 July 2022 As a group, the high performers don’t surrender easily. Sherry Walling, Fortune, 12 July 2022 Kaitlin Armstrong must also surrender her passport prior to release, and will be GPS monitored, according to court records from Travis County. CBS News, 2 July 2022 Armstrong must also surrender her passport prior to release and be monitored by GPS, according to county records. Audrey Conklin, Fox News, 2 July 2022 Under the agreement, Rivera would surrender two guns, ammunition and two Harley Davidson motorcycles. Chicago Tribune, 20 June 2022 Ukrainian defenders won’t surrender the city of Sievierodonetsk in the Luhansk region, where fierce fighting is currently taking place, according to Serhii Haidai, head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration. Katya Soldak, Forbes, 8 June 2022 His comrades eventually surrender or are killed in clashes with Filipino forces. Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, 2 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In June of 1945, one month after Germany’s surrender, my brother graduated from dental school, and was instantly sent, as a second lieutenant, to Camp Grant, in Rockford, Illinois, to join an Army medical unit. Cynthia Ozick, The Atlantic, 3 Aug. 2022 In 1947, two years after Japan's surrender to the Allies, the collection was reassembled in Nanjing. Wayne Chang, CNN, 29 July 2022 The unit returned to the U.S. in July and was deactivated on September 15, after the Japanese surrender. Kellie B. Gormly, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 July 2022 Weeks later, after the Japanese surrender, the American Seventh Fleet sailed into Shanghai to begin what turned out to be a freewheeling, if relatively brief, interregnum before revolutionary Communist forces took control. New York Times, 31 May 2022 But Baltimore’s Pratt Street was the site of the war’s first casualties, after a mob of Southern sympathizers attacked Union troops bound for Washington just five days after the surrender of Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Christine Condon,, 27 Oct. 2021 Village Pointe Commons in Grafton, served in the U.S. Navy as a secretary to Admiral Richard Byrd, who was present at the signing of the Japanese surrender. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7 Sep. 2021 At the conclusion of hostilities, Gen. Beebe was bestowed the honor of observing the Japanese surrender on the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay. David Sauer, Star Tribune, 4 Dec. 2020 Emotion here comes from an intensity of restraint rather than from surrender or sensuality. Jennifer Homans, The New Yorker, 18 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of surrender


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for surrender


Middle English surrendren, from surrendre, noun


Middle English surrendre, from Anglo-French, from surrendre, susrendre to relinquish, from sur- & sus-, suz under + rendre to give back — more at render, sous-chef

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Time Traveler for surrender

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The first known use of surrender was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near surrender



surrender charge

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Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Surrender.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for surrender


sur·​ren·​der | \ sə-ˈren-dər How to pronounce surrender (audio) \
surrendered; surrendering

Kids Definition of surrender

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to give up after a struggle The soldiers surrendered. We'll never surrender the fort.
2 : to let go of : relinquish We surrendered our place in line.



Kids Definition of surrender (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of giving up after a struggle
2 : the act of giving something over to the possession or control of someone else


transitive verb

Legal Definition of surrender

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : to yield to the control or possession of another surrender the leased premises surrender collateral to a creditor
b : to give up completely or agree to forgo
c : to cancel (one's insurance policy) voluntarily
2 : to give over to the custody of the law surrender a defendant

intransitive verb

: to give oneself up



Legal Definition of surrender (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or instance of surrendering discharge an obligor by surrender of a promissory note especially : the yielding of an estate by a tenant to the landlord so that the leasehold interest is extinguished by mutual agreement

More from Merriam-Webster on surrender

Nglish: Translation of surrender for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of surrender for Arabic Speakers


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