Definition of surrender in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /səˈrɛndə/


1 [no object] Stop resisting to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority: over 140 rebels surrendered to the authorities
More example sentences
  • The policy, while savage, often meant the next towns along the way would surrender rather than resist.
  • Two days later, on May 2, 1945, all enemy forces in Italy surrendered unconditionally.
  • Noriega eventually surrendered voluntarily to U.S. authorities.
capitulate, give in, give (oneself) up, yield, concede, submit, climb down, give way, defer, acquiesce, back down, cave in, relent, succumb, quit, crumble;
be beaten, be overcome, be overwhelmed, fall victim;
lay down one's arms, raise/show the white flag, throw in the towel/sponge, accept defeat, concede defeat
1.1 [with object] (In sport) lose (a point, game, or advantage) to an opponent: she surrendered only twenty games in her five qualifying matches
More example sentences
  • Just four teams have allowed more than the 3.55 goals per game surrendered by the Isles.
  • Though the Bucs surrendered points, this quasi-stand rallied them to a comeback victory.
  • The Kings could surrender a Game 1 to Jersey from sheer jitters.
1.2 (surrender to) Give in to (a powerful emotion or influence): the president has surrendered to panic and is making things worse he surrendered himself to the mood of the hills
More example sentences
  • His carefully ordered routine only begins to unravel when he makes the mistake of surrendering to a very human emotion.
  • The three basic skills are attending to, befriending and surrendering to emotions that make us uncomfortable.
  • In dealing with the issue, however, the minister expressed the view that we have been surrendering to the idea that society is essentially responsible for all ills.
2 [with object] Give up or hand over (a person, right, or possession), typically on compulsion or demand: in 1815 Denmark surrendered Norway to Sweden the UK is opposed to surrendering its monetary sovereignty
More example sentences
  • The suit demanded that Seaman surrender the rights to 374 photos he took of the Lennon family and pay unspecified damages.
  • In 1931, the French Government was forced to surrender its rights of jurisdiction to the local government.
  • The criteria they appear to be using is that any nation that either actively sponsors, gives shelter to or ‘turns a blind eye’ to terrorist activities effectively surrenders its sovereign rights.
give up, relinquish, renounce, forgo, forswear, cede, abdicate, waive, forfeit, sacrifice;
hand over, turn over, deliver (up), yield (up), resign, transfer, commit, grant;
part with, let go of
archaic forsake
abandon, leave behind, cast aside, turn one's back on, give up, lose
2.1(Of a person assured) cancel (a life insurance policy) and receive back a proportion of the premiums paid.
Example sentences
  • If you do choose to surrender the policy it would be a good idea to use the proceeds to pay off the mortgage, making sure that there would be no penalties incurred.
  • This is effectively an exit penalty for anyone who wants to surrender a with-profits policy early and shift their money elsewhere.
  • If you surrender your policy after one year, you will lose all the money you have paid the insurance company.
2.2Give up (a lease) before its expiry.
Example sentences
  • Oscars nightclub, on the Longleat estate, shut its doors in January after its lease was surrendered.
  • The tenants of a dilapidated York building allegedly turned down £250,000 to surrender the lease to the city council.
  • Legal action will be taken against the tenants of a dilapidated landmark York building - unless they agree to surrender the lease.


[mass noun]
1The action of surrendering to an opponent or powerful influence: the final surrender of Germany on 8 May 1945 [count noun]: the colonel was anxious to negotiate a surrender
More example sentences
  • A final series of surrenders followed as hungry Lakota bands capitulated at military posts along the upper Missouri and Yellowstone.
  • Close combat is the only form of warfare that results in surrenders.
  • The victor would then be able to starve his opponent into surrender, or at least so disrupt his trade that his economy would collapse and he would no longer be able to continue the war.
capitulation, submission, yielding, giving in, succumbing, acquiescence, laying down of arms, quitting;
fall, defeat
relinquishment, surrendering, renunciation, forgoing, forsaking, ceding, cession, abdication, waiving, resignation;
handing over, giving up, yielding up, transfer, abandonment
2The action of surrendering a lease or life insurance policy.
Example sentences
  • As a consequence of the approach adopted by insurance companies on the early surrender of endowment policies, a market has developed in second-hand endowment policies.
  • Such a world exists - not for car owners, but for owners of life insurance policies intended for lapse or surrender.
  • I conclude on the evidence that the only reason for TMD's involvement at this stage was the early surrender of the lease and that these costs would not have been incurred but for that indication.


surrender to bail

Law Duly appear in court after release on bail.
Example sentences
  • The youngsters also had violent histories with one having previous convictions for battery, assault, and assault with actual bodily harm and the other having convictions for battery, affray and failing to surrender to bail.
  • A 16-year-old youth, alleged to have been involved in the robbery, has not surrendered to bail and is being sought.
  • He was also convicted of failing to surrender to bail.


Late Middle English (chiefly in legal use): from Anglo-Norman French (see sur-1, render).

Words that rhyme with surrender

addenda, agenda, amender, ascender, attender, blender, Brenda, contender, corrigenda, descender, engender, extender, fazenda, fender, gender, Glenda, Gwenda, hacienda, Länder, lender, mender, offender, pudenda, recommender, referenda, render, sender, slender, spender, splendour (US splendor), suspender, tender, Venda, weekender, Wenda

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sur|ren¦der

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.