take (someone or something) by surprise


: to happen to (someone or something) unexpectedly : to surprise (someone or something)
Her reaction took me by surprise.
The organization was taken completely by surprise by the announcement.
: to attack, capture, or approach (someone or something) without warning
The troops gained an upper hand in the battle by taking their foes by surprise.

Dictionary Entries Near take (someone or something) by surprise

Cite this Entry

“Take (someone or something) by surprise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/take%20%28someone%20or%20something%29%20by%20surprise. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

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