surrender

1 of 2

verb

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

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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

surrender

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: 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
The Cyclones bring in the fourth-best defense in the country, surrendering only 92.0 points per 100 possessions. Ayrton Ostly, USA TODAY, 22 Feb. 2024 Some 5,000 miles away from a paralyzed Washington, Ukraine was forced to surrender the city of Avdiivka to Russian forces, handing Putin one of his most monumental triumphs in months. Oliver Darcy, CNN, 21 Feb. 2024 According to the commission, those detained were arrested in myriad ways, such as by being taken into custody in their homes or at checkpoints or by being pressured to surrender. NBC News, 19 Feb. 2024 The Blaugrana went 1-0 up on the stroke of half time thanks to Robert Lewandowski, but then surrendered their lead just a couple of minutes after the interval when Jules Kounde deflected an Iago Aspas shot past goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Tom Sanderson, Forbes, 17 Feb. 2024 Duffy ordered that Kodak refrain from driving and surrender his driver’s license to attorney Brad Cohen. Grethel Aguila, Miami Herald, 16 Feb. 2024 The Gulls fell flat in Wednesday night’s 6-2 loss to the San Jose Barracuda, surrendering their most goals in a game since Nov. 10 and snapping a streak of hot play. Ryan Finley, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Feb. 2024 The road, however, does not easily surrender its grip. Ben Goldfarb, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Feb. 2024 The 2012 49ers surrendered a 108-yard return on the second half’s kickoff as Baltimore surged ahead 28-6 en route to its 34-31 win – and the 49ers’ first-ever Super Bowl loss. 5. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, 10 Feb. 2024
Noun
Soldiers who had been captured appeared to want to justify their surrender, saying their commanders had set them up for failure through poor training, planning and provision of supplies. Rebecca Tan, Washington Post, 14 Feb. 2024 America's surrender in April was followed by the brutal Bataan Death March. Kerry J. Byrne Fox News, Fox News, 9 Feb. 2024 The original Godzilla tapped into Japan’s anxieties about nuclear fallout after Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Godzilla Minus One takes place from 1945 to 1947, in the immediate aftermath of Japan’s surrender. David Sims, The Atlantic, 6 Feb. 2024 Donald Trump gag order: Appeals court refuses to hear any more about it From Never Back Down to Trump surrender: 3 fatal flaws that doomed Ron DeSantis’ campaign Nikki Haley, a 'proud daughter of Indian immigrants' makes history. USA TODAY, 26 Jan. 2024 Twice, when asked to prove their mettle, the Hoosiers managed only casual surrender, in a pair of games that suggest this team’s season will not last beyond spring break. Zach Osterman, The Indianapolis Star, 20 Jan. 2024 War Time remained in effect until after the surrender of Japan in September 1945. Kerry J. Byrne Fox News, Fox News, 9 Feb. 2024 The 28-year-old suspect fled into a home and police began to negotiate his surrender for about two hours, Gamble said. Ishani Desai, Sacramento Bee, 26 Jan. 2024 Such compromise, inevitably interpreted as surrender by hard-liners, led to the downfall of McCarthy. David Sivak, Washington Examiner, 12 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'surrender.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English surrendren, from surrendre, noun

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near surrender

Cite this Entry

“Surrender.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/surrender. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

surrender

1 of 2 verb
sur·​ren·​der sə-ˈren-dər How to pronounce surrender (audio)
surrendered; surrendering -d(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce surrender (audio)
1
: to give over to the power, control, or possession of another especially by force
2
: to give oneself over to something

surrender

2 of 2 noun
: the giving of oneself or something into the power of another person or thing

Legal Definition

surrender

1 of 2 transitive verb
sur·​ren·​der
1
a
: 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

surrender

2 of 2 noun
: 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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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