Definition of surpass in English:

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Pronunciation: /sərˈpas/


[with object]
1Exceed; be greater than: prewar levels of production were surpassed in 1929
More example sentences
  • Some 23 provinces suffer power shortages as demand from industrial production surpasses the growth of generation capacity.
  • In her first month of production her sales-commission numbers surpassed my first year.
  • Of the eight players chosen ahead of Stoudemire, none has surpassed his production.
1.1Be better than: he continued to surpass me at all games
More example sentences
  • Ever believable, this actress to my mind continually surpasses what I have always come to think of as her definitive performance.
  • He was a strong leader, a visionary in his way, a figure surpassing all around him at home and on the continent.
  • Once again the cast have been asked to put on a special attempt to surpass the productions of the past years.
1.2 (surpass oneself) Do or be better than ever before: the organist was surpassing himself
More example sentences
  • Now the ever progressive York gallery has surpassed itself by presenting an exhibition by Annie Halliday that utilises neither camera nor lens.
  • I thought last week's performance by Cris was the worst I'd ever seen by a professional footballer, but he's surpassing himself tonight.
  • Every year it surpasses itself with kitschness and when you see it listed on the television schedule, eyes invariably roll to heaven accompanied by moans and groans of distaste.



Pronunciation: /sərˈpasəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Sciences like mathematics, optics, mechanics, astronomy and pharmacology had reached a sort of logical ‘completion’ that was not surpassable without a revolutionary reform.
  • Any password that involves you moving a cursor around on a screen is easily surpassable by anybody within visual range, and that includes via security camera.
  • It is astonishing that even this first film already had something not easily surpassable.


Mid 16th century: from French surpasser, from sur- 'above' + passer 'to pass'.

Words that rhyme with surpass

brass, carse, class, coup de grâce, farce, glass, grass, Grasse, impasse, Kars, kick-ass, kvass, Laplace, Maas, Madras, outclass, pass, sparse, stained glass, upper class, volte-face

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sur·pass

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