Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Having qualities attributed to or associated with surrealism: "Even with most facilities shut down ... a few mavericks managed to slip into the park to sample the almost surreal emptiness before the shutdown ended.” ( Peter H. King).
  • adj. Having an oddly dreamlike quality.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Resembling a dream: fantastic and incongruous

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. characterized by fantastic imagery and incongruous juxtapositions
  • adj. resembling a dream

Etymologies

Back-formation from surrealism.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Back-formation from surrealism. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Can someone tell me how surreal is realted to Satean, Lucivar and Daemon?

    The Shadow Queen - Anne Bishop

  • And whatever comes beyond surreal is what describes these three men in particular, none of whom has ever been distinguished by his previous tender concern for racial minorities lied upon, denied upon and systematically cheated of their square of the American Dream, telling us '' racism '' is what happens when a Hispanic woman says something dumb about white men.

    Sunday Reading

  • These expose students to hypothetical conundrums involving individuals in surreal circumstances suddenly facing life and death decisions, or present contentious public policy questions and explore the range of respectable progressive opinions for resolving them.

    Why Liberals Don

  • How crazy and surreal is it that the Watchmen characters are on the cover of Entertainment Weekly?

    Comic-Con 08 Live: Warner Brothers' Watchmen Panel! « FirstShowing.net

  • And as everybody waited for the president-elect to make his speech, after being elected it just became, again I use the word surreal, but it just was a climactic moment.

    CNN Transcript Jan 2, 2010

  • And as everybody waited for the president-elect to make his speech after being elected, it just became, again, I use the word surreal, but it was just a climactic moment.

    CNN Transcript Jan 3, 2010

  • What makes it all a little surreal is that before I start, I log onto Final Fantasy and immediately get tagged by a friend to help him camp a notorious monster.

    Trifle!

  • Another element, a subjective one, is if there is a certain surreal, or frankly, weird side to the crime.

    Five Easy Questions: Steve Huff, Part One

  • What then raises this from the bizarre to the surreal is that the initial court reference was made in June 2004 and there was a very detailed preliminary judgement in December 2005.

    Butter wars

  • For Jenkins's Storker Project, he dropped "tape babies" in surreal urban contexts.

    - Boing Boing

Comments

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  • Soon to be an epic length film " Al Surreel Rithm" (Al Gore didn't invent it!)
    - a priori from comments below?!

    March 21, 2012

  • Knuth is an icon. He wrote the Dancing Links algorithm to solve Sudoku several years before the game was invented!

    November 19, 2007

  • So you're saying these surreal numbers are really close to real numbers, as in "closer than infinitely close?" Uhm.

    November 17, 2007

  • Hey, don't knock caber-tossing 'til you've tried it. Or...you know...watched it. :-)

    November 16, 2007

  • Wow I'm familiar with Knuth--I've read chunks of the Art of Computer Programming and played with --but I had no idea he wrote, uh... math-based novellas. What can't the man do? Next you're gonna tell me he's a semi-pro tap dancer, and enjoys tossing the caber.

    November 16, 2007

  • Surreal numbers are the most natural collection of numbers which includes both the real numbers and the infinite ordinal numbers of Georg Cantor. They were invented by John H. Conway in 1969. Every real number is surrounded by surreals, which are closer to it than any real number. Knuth (1974) describes the surreal numbers in a work of fiction.

    That clears things right up, doesn't it?

    November 16, 2007