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[suh-ren-der] /səˈrɛn dər/
verb (used with object)
to yield (something) to the possession or power of another; deliver up possession of on demand or under duress:
to surrender the fort to the enemy; to surrender the stolen goods to the police.
to give (oneself) up, as to the police.
to give (oneself) up to some influence, course, emotion, etc.:
He surrendered himself to a life of hardship.
to give up, abandon, or relinquish (comfort, hope, etc.).
to yield or resign (an office, privilege, etc.) in favor of another.
verb (used without object)
to give oneself up, as into the power of another; submit or yield.
the act or an instance of surrendering.
Insurance. the voluntary abandonment of a life-insurance policy by the owner for any of its nonforfeiture values.
the deed by which a legal surrendering is made.
Origin of surrender
late Middle English
1425-75; (v.) late Middle English surrendren < Anglo-French surrender, Old French surrendre to give up, equivalent to sur- sur-1 + rendre to render; (noun) < Anglo-French; Old French surrendre, noun use of the infinitive
Related forms
surrenderer, noun
nonsurrender, noun
presurrender, noun
prosurrender, adjective
unsurrendered, adjective
unsurrendering, adjective
1. See yield. 4. renounce. 5. waive, cede, abandon, forgo. 6. capitulate. 7. capitulation, relinquishment. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for surrender
  • The surrender rule allows blackjack players to drop out for half their bet if the first two cards betoken defeat.
  • Schultz, who stepped down from their positions the night before, surrender to police.
  • The coal industry will not surrender the power sector without a fight.
  • Some commercial interests are reluctant to surrender so much land to conservation.
  • Another environmentalist prediction that was false, but got you to surrender a little more of your freedom.
  • surrender to sweet, gooey, dentist-be-darned dishes.
  • If you're feeling a bit more devious, you can initiate a mock surrender.
  • After the surrender the rebels mounted the breastworks, and seemed mad with joy and delight.
  • He was tough minded about his role and determined that his clients surrender no more money in taxes than was absolutely necessary.
  • In some ways the act was a surrender to the status quo.
British Dictionary definitions for surrender


(transitive) to relinquish to the control or possession of another under duress or on demand: to surrender a city
(transitive) to relinquish or forego (an office, position, etc), esp as a voluntary concession to another: he surrendered his place to a lady
to give (oneself) up physically, as or as if to an enemy
to allow (oneself) to yield, as to a temptation, influence, etc
(transitive) to give up (hope, etc)
(transitive) (law) to give up or restore (an estate), esp to give up a lease before expiration of the term
(transitive) (obsolete) to return or render (thanks, etc)
surrender to bail, to present oneself at court at the appointed time after having been on bail
the act or instance of surrendering
(insurance) the voluntary discontinuation of a life policy by its holder in return for a consideration (the surrender value)
  1. the yielding up or restoring of an estate, esp the giving up of a lease before its term has expired
  2. the giving up to the appropriate authority of a fugitive from justice
  3. the act of surrendering or being surrendered to bail
  4. the deed by which a legal surrender is effected
Derived Forms
surrenderer, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French surrendre to yield, from sur-1 + rendre to render
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for surrender

early 15c., "to give (something) up," from Old French surrendre "give up, deliver over" (13c.), from sur- "over" (see sur-) + rendre "give back" (see render). Reflexive sense of "to give oneself up" (especially as a prisoner) is from 1580s. Related: Surrendered; surrendering.


early 15c., legalese, "a giving up" (of an estate, land grant, interest in property, etc.), from Anglo-French surrendre infinitive used as a noun, from Old French surrendre "give up, deliver over" (see surrender (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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