American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To be beyond the limit, powers, or capacity of; transcend: misery that surpasses comprehension.
- v. To be or go beyond, as in degree or quality; exceed. See Synonyms at excel.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To exceed; excel; go beyond in any way or respect.
- To go beyond or past; exceed; overrun.
- Synonyms To outdo, outstrip, outrun, transcend, overtop, beat.
- v. transitive To go beyond, especially in a metaphoric or technical manner; to exceed.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To go beyond in anything good or bad; to exceed; to excel.
- v. distinguish oneself
- v. be greater in scope or size than some standard
- v. be or do something to a greater degree
- v. move past
- From French surpasser ("to pass beyond"); sur- + pass. (Wiktionary)
- French surpasser, from Old French, to transgress : sur-, sur- + passer, pass; see pass. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“This statue has been for a long time a favourite of my imagination, and I approached it, treading softly and slowly, and with a feeling of reverence; for I had an impression that the original Niobe would, like the original Venus, surpass all the casts and copies I had seen both in beauty and expression: but apparently expression is more easily caught than delicacy and grace, and the grandeur and pathos of the attitude and grouping easily copied -- for I think the best casts of the Niobe are accurate counterparts of the original; and at the first glance I was capriciously disappointed, because the statue did not _surpass_ my expectations.”
“The younger Mr. Daley was first elected mayor in 1989 and will by the end of his term surpass his father by a year, making him Chicago's longest-serving mayor.”
“Today's indication of notes and coins surpass the peak seen over the June month-end notes when they reached 25.208 billion rand on Jul 5.”
“Elaborating on Engels's assertion that the ultimate aim of a communist party is to "surpass the entire State, and thus democracy too (" surpass "- Überwinden in German, is also translated as" overcome "), Lenin wrote:”
“In achieving that, we do not "surpass" Scripture and the Fathers in the sense of discovering more truth than they together did.”
“But the very word "surpass" implies the existence of a standard common to us and the thing surpassing us.”
“Here, standing close to the mightiest pillar of destiny's throne, we may see once again how restricted her power becomes on such as surpass her in wisdom.”
“The beauty was still there, indeed, but the agony, the blind passion, and the awful vindictiveness displayed upon those quivering features, and in the tortured look of the upturned eyes, were such as surpass my powers of description.”
“Note, God's favours to his covenant-people are such as surpass both their own and others 'thoughts and expectations.”
“Non-eurozone Sweden led the charge going into a full meeting of European Union finance ministers in Brussels, warning that Athens must "surpass" financiers 'expectations if it is to fight off market attack dogs.”
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Key words from "The Training of a Public Speaker" by Grenville Kleiser (New York and London, 1920)
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