catch/take (someone or something) by surprise

idiom

Definition of catch/take (someone or something) by surprise

1 : to happen to (someone or something) unexpectedly : to surprise (someone or something) The question caught him by surprise. The organization was taken completely by surprise by the announcement.
2 : to attack, capture, or approach (someone or something) without warning The enemy troops took us completely by surprise. Photographers caught the couple by surprise as they were leaving a restaurant.

Learn More about catch/take (someone or something) by surprise

Statistics for catch/take (someone or something) by surprise

Look-up Popularity

Comments on catch/take (someone or something) by surprise

What made you want to look up catch/take (someone or something) by surprise? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a small bunch of flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!