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catch (someone) by surprise

To startle, amaze, or come upon (someone) unawares. That car coming around the corner caught me by surprise. She was caught completely by surprise with the amount of donations she received. Don't let hidden bank fees catch you by surprise.
See also: by, catch, surprise

be in for a surprise

To be guaranteed to receive or experience an unexpected outcome, especially a negative one. If you think being a parent is easy, then you're in for a surprise!
See also: surprise

surprise, surprise

Said ironically of or in a situation in which something very predictable has happened. A: "I somehow managed to break yet another phone!" B: "Surprise, surprise! How many does that make it this year?" I was telling Sarah about going to the movies with my friend Jess, and surprise, surprise, she launched into another fit of jealousy.
See also: surprise

be taken by surprise

To be happened upon when one is not ready, prepared, or on guard; to be shocked or startled by someone or something. I was taken completely by surprise when you showed up at my office this afternoon for lunch. I wish you would have called ahead! The enemy encampment was taken by surprise when our troops descended upon them just before daybreak.
See also: by, surprise, taken

element of surprise

A method of stealth or secrecy employed to catch someone off-guard. I'll get mom to let me stay out till midnight, but I can't ask her now, when she's expecting it—I need the element of surprise. The fish camouflages itself and disappears onto the ocean floor, relying on the element of surprise to catch its prey.
See also: element, of, surprise

quelle surprise

A French phrase that means "what a surprise." Often said sarcastically. A: "Ruth isn't coming tonight? Quelle surprise." B: "I know, she's ditched us at the last minute once again."
See also: surprise

come as no surprise

To be completely unsurprising. Considering how much they had been fighting lately, their break-up came as no surprise. If you didn't study for that test at all, your failing grade should come as no surprise.
See also: come, no, surprise

take (one) by surprise

To encounter or otherwise engage something or someone who is not prepared or on guard; to shock or startle someone or something by one's sudden appearance or action. You took me by surprise when you showed up at my office with flowers this afternoon! Our soldiers descended upon the enemy encampment just before daybreak and took their troops entirely by surprise.
See also: by, surprise, take

in (some kind of) fashion

In a certain manner or kind of way (of doing something). Last week, in a rather surprising fashion, the usually conservative tech company announced it would be opening up its source code to allow aspiring programmers to rework their popular web browser in new and innovative ways. The team won the championship in dramatic fashion, with a field goal from midfield in the final seconds of the game.
See also: fashion, kind

come as no surprise

will not be surprising [for someone] to learn [something]. It will come as no surprise for you to learn that the company is losing money this year. It came as no surprise that the president had been lying.
See also: come, no, surprise

I'm not surprised.

 and I don't wonder.
It is not surprising.; It should not surprise anyone. Mary: All this talk about war has my cousin very worried. Sue: No doubt. At his age, I don't wonder. John: All of the better-looking ones sold out right away. Jane: I'm not surprised.
See also: not, surprise

surprise someone by something

to astonish someone by doing or being something. You surprised me by your forthrightness. No one was surprised by the way it happened.
See also: by, surprise

surprise someone with something

to astonish someone by presenting or showing something. I surprised her with a bouquet of roses. He surprised Roger with a new car.
See also: surprise

take someone by surprise

 and catch someone by surprise
to startle someone; to surprise someone with something unexpected. Oh! You took me by surprise because I didn't hear you come in. Bill caught his mother by surprise by coming to the door and pretending to be selling something.
See also: by, surprise, take

take someone or something by surprise

to startle or surprise someone or something. She bolted into the room and took them by surprise. I took the little bird by surprise, and it flew away.
See also: by, surprise, take

take by surprise

Encounter unexpectedly, as in The rainshower took us by surprise. [Late 1600s]
See also: by, surprise, take

surˌprise, surˈprise

(spoken, ironic) used when you are not surprised about something: ‘There’s nothing worth watching on TV tonight.’ ‘Surprise, surprise’ (= there is usually nothing worth watching).
See also: surprise

take somebody by surˈprise

happen to somebody unexpectedly; surprise somebody: His decision to retire took us all by surprise.
See also: by, somebody, surprise, take
References in periodicals archive ?
They repeated the surprise last December 20, this time surprising OFWs coming home from Hong Kong and Singapore at NAIA 2.
Marine Surprises His Sister During College Graduation Ceremony (9M+ views)
The new live stage show, Peppa Pig's Surprise, is coming to Billingham Forum this November.
Although literature on Psychology shows that negative events tend to evoke physiological, cognitive and emotional responses greater than neutral and positive events, (BAUMEISTER; BRATSLAVSKY; FINKENAUER, 2001; LYUBOMIRSKY, 2011), it is not known whether these results are the same when you evaluate consumer situations in which negative surprises occur.
These analyses generate some considerations: It is agreed that it is difficult to surprise a movie or TV audience, since the soundtrack often gives the outcome away.
Also on tonight's show, two rugby fans who devote their time to raising money for local children's charities in Bristol get a wonderful surprise as they meet England rugby hero Ben Cohen and get the chance to meet the England rugby team.
But you can expect tears, laughter and plenty of jaw-dropping surprises.
In contrast, when "things go off script," and especially when "bad surprises attack," we feel unprepared and vulnerable, say Luna, co-founder and CEO of Surprise Industries, and Renninger, co-founder and CEO of LifeLabs New York, a company that helps people improve and master everyday life skills.
Meanwhile, Holly also surprises Gary Bennett, whose life has been filled with tragedy.
Holly's Top 3 surprises As Holly Willoughby steps into Cilla Black's shoes to front a new version of the hit series, there's one trademark feature of the show that she's sworn to avoid - singing the theme tune as Cilla used to.
The hour-long programme will feature a number of tear-jerking surprises and family reunions as Holly helps make some dreams of a lifetime come true.
Part of the special campaign by Dubai Shopping Malls Group for Dubai Summer Surprises, the raffle draws have proved to be hugely popular with shoppers.
95) receives Judy Love's drawings and tells of the surprises being planned for the 100th day of school.
The goal of Predictable Surprises is to help leaders prevent looming catastrophes that are so large and complex that even though they may realize a crisis is developing, they are unable to generate an effective response.