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surprize (countable and uncountable, plural surprizes)

  1. (now rare and nonstandard) Alternative spelling of surprise
    • 1792, Ann Ward Radcliffe, A Sicilian Romance[1], HTML edition, The Gutenberg Project, published 2005:
      Ferdinand not yet recovered from the painful surprize
    • 1811, [Jane Austen], chapter III, in Sense and Sensibility [], volume II, London: [] C[harles] Roworth, [], and published by T[homas] Egerton, [], →OCLC, page 36:
      Mrs. Jennings received the refusal with some surprize, and repeated her invitation immediately.
    • 1813, William Francis Patrick Napier, quoting Charle Napier, The Life and Opinions of General Sir Charles James Napier, G.C.B.[2], Cambridge Univ. Press, published 2011, →ISBN, page 236:
      Guard well against surprize; to be surprized is inexcusable in a general, if it happens from his neglect of proper posts: if his troops are surprized in good posts they must be in a dreadful state, which can hardly be the fault of any one but the general.



surprize (third-person singular simple present surprizes, present participle surprizing, simple past and past participle surprized)

  1. (now rare and nonstandard) Alternative spelling of surprise
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, volumes (please specify |volume=I to VI), London: A[ndrew] Millar, [], →OCLC:
      The petty-fogger now likewise departed, and then Jones desired the favour of Mrs Whitefield’s company to drink tea with him; but she refused, and with a manner so different from that with which she had received him at dinner, that it a little surprized him.
    • 1789, Ann Ward Radcliffe, The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne[3], HTML edition:
      Surprized at the bold independence of these words, delivered with uncommon energy, the heart of Osbert beat quick
    • 1813, John Elihu Hall, The American Law Journal, Volume 4[4], Digitized edition (Law), WP Farrand and Co., published 2010, page 326:
      Will he be surprized that such a diversity of sentiment rendered … And will he be surprized, that mutual concessions … need we be surprized tat the stream …
    • 1803 (date written), [Jane Austen], chapter X, in Northanger Abbey; published in Northanger Abbey: And Persuasion. [], volume I, London: John Murray, [], 20 December 1817 (indicated as 1818), →OCLC, page 159:
      “How well your brother dances!” was an artless exclamation of Catherine’s towards the close of their conversation, which at once surprized and amused her companion.

Usage notes


The z spelling was as common as the s spelling into the early 1700s, but has been rare ever since, and is now nonstandard.


  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary, surprize