Synonyms & Antonyms of surpass

1 to be greater, better, or stronger than
  • she always tried to surpass her older brother at anything he did

Synonyms for surpass

Words Related to surpass

Phrases Synonymous with surpass

Near Antonyms for surpass

2 to go beyond the limit of
  • the sales of the band's newest CD have surpassed the combined sales of its last two albums

Synonyms for surpass

Words Related to surpass

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About surpass

How does the verb surpass contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of surpass are exceed, excel, outdo, outstrip, and transcend. While all these words mean "to go or be beyond a stated or implied limit, measure, or degree," surpass suggests superiority in quality, merit, or skill.

the book surpassed our expectations

When might exceed be a better fit than surpass?

Although the words exceed and surpass have much in common, exceed implies going beyond a limit set by authority or established by custom or by prior achievement.

exceed the speed limit

Where would excel be a reasonable alternative to surpass?

The meanings of excel and surpass largely overlap; however, excel implies preeminence in achievement or quality and may suggest superiority to all others.

excels in mathematics

In what contexts can outdo take the place of surpass?

The words outdo and surpass can be used in similar contexts, but outdo applies to a bettering or exceeding what has been done before.

outdid herself this time

When is it sensible to use outstrip instead of surpass?

While in some cases nearly identical to surpass, outstrip suggests surpassing in a race or competition.

outstripped other firms in sales

When can transcend be used instead of surpass?

While the synonyms transcend and surpass are close in meaning, transcend implies a rising or extending notably above or beyond ordinary limits.

transcended the values of their culture

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About surpass

Time Traveler for surpass

Time Traveler

The first known use of surpass was in 1555

See more words from the same year

Thesaurus Entries Near surpass




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Surpass.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on surpass

Nglish: Translation of surpass for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of surpass for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
True or False

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

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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