surrender 1 of 2

as in to relinquish
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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as in to capitulate
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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as in to indulge
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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2 of 2


as in submission
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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Synonym Chooser

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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Cite this Entry

“Surrender.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

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