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From Middle French surpasser ‎(to pass beyond). Surface etymology is sur- +‎ pass.



surpass ‎(third-person singular simple present surpasses, present participle surpassing, simple past and past participle surpassed)

  1. (transitive) To go beyond, especially in a metaphoric or technical manner; to exceed.
    The former problem student surpassed his instructor's expectations and scored top marks on his examination.
    The heavy rains threatened to surpass the capabilities of the levee, endangering the town on the other side.
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, The Tremarn Case[1]:
      “Two or three months more went by ; the public were eagerly awaiting the arrival of this semi-exotic claimant to an English peerage, and sensations, surpassing those of the Tichbourne case, were looked forward to with palpitating interest. […]”


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