Thesaurus

surrender

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of surrender

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 to give (something) over to the control or possession of another usually under duress
  • the toddler surrendered the doll to her mother after a brief struggle
  • the commander surrendered the garrison without having fired a single shot

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2 to cease resistance (as to another's arguments, demands, or control)
  • the father refused to surrender to his son's constant begging for a BB gun

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3 to give up (as a position of authority) formally
  • the aging queen refused to surrender the throne to her increasingly impatient heir

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4 to give up and cease resistance (as to a liking, temptation, or habit)
  • determined to give up smoking, she so far has not surrendered to her incessant desire to have a cigarette

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5 to yield to the control or power of enemy forces
  • General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865, thus ending the Civil War

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6 to give (oneself) over to something especially unrestrainedly
  • laid-off workers who surrender themselves to despair will almost certainly never regain their footing

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surrender

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of surrender (Entry 2 of 2)

the usually forced yielding of one's person or possessions to the control of another
  • the police demanded the surrender of all hostages as a condition for allowing the hijackers safe passage out of the country

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About surrender

How is the word surrender different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of surrender are abandon, relinquish, resign, waive, and yield. While all these words mean "to give up completely," surrender implies a giving up after a struggle to retain or resist.

surrendered their claims

In what contexts can abandon take the place of surrender?

While the synonyms abandon and surrender are close in meaning, abandon stresses finality and completeness in giving up.

abandoned all hope

When might relinquish be a better fit than surrender?

The synonyms relinquish and surrender are sometimes interchangeable, but relinquish usually does not imply strong feeling but may suggest some regret, reluctance, or weakness.

relinquished her crown

When would resign be a good substitute for surrender?

The words resign and surrender are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, resign emphasizes voluntary relinquishment or sacrifice without struggle.

resigned her position

When can waive be used instead of surrender?

The meanings of waive and surrender largely overlap; however, waive implies conceding or forgoing with little or no compulsion.

waived the right to a trial by jury

When is it sensible to use yield instead of surrender?

In some situations, the words yield and surrender are roughly equivalent. However, yield implies concession or compliance or submission to force.

the troops yielded ground grudgingly

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Time Traveler for surrender

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Surrender.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/surrender. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on surrender

Dictionary: Definition of surrender

Spanish Central: Translation of surrender

Nglish: Translation of surrender for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of surrender for Arabic Speakers

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