Difference Between Submission and Surrender

Thanks to Fifty Shades of Grey, no one will ever look at these words the same again. The words submission and surrender hold very different meanings.


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However, these words also vary according to the perspective of the user. While submission and surrender may sound ultimate, the magnitude of the words vary.

Key Takeaways

  1. Submission implies willingly yielding to someone’s authority or control, often involving a sense of respect and trust.
  2. Surrender involves giving up control or relinquishing power, usually due to defeat or external pressure.
  3. Submission is a proactive choice, while surrender occurs in response to external circumstances.

Submission vs Surrender

Submission is the act of yielding or accepting a superior force or authority. It can involve the recognition of another’s power. Surrender is associated with negative connotations, such as weakness or humiliation, and can be seen as a last resort or a sign of desperation.

Submission vs Surrender

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Submission can hold different meanings when considered as a verb and a noun. The word submission as a verb refers to yield.

Yielding refers to making or giving way to something new or different when pressured. The noun form talks about submitting any object to a rule or another person.

Surrender is a word that is used in a stronger platform. Surrender refers to the complete takeover of a person or their possessions by another.

This could be willing or unwilling. The surrendered object in an abstract notion is given up of its power and control.

The person in power possesses the resulting control and authority.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSubmissionSurrender
VerbThe verb form of this word refers to yielding to a foreign force.Surrender as a verb refers to giving up power, control, and possession.
NounThe noun submission can refer to the action of accepting and yielding to pressure.Surrender as a noun refers to the action of abandoning one’s freedom.
SituationSubmission is typically achieved due to compulsion.Surrender, on the other hand, refers to resigning oneself.
ConsentSubmission cannot always be consensual due to the presence of force.The act of surrender is mostly willing, although the situation might differ.
BeliefSubmitting to the wishes of the Lord’s desires over individual mans’ is considered as submission.In comparison, surrender refers to giving over to the Lord’s will.

What is Submission?

This term packs in it a versatile range of definitions. The standard description of the word submission usually refers to it as an act of accepting and ultimately yielding to an external force.

The presence of a foreign pressure or the authority displayed by a superior official in a work environment can cause acceptance and ultimate submission displayed by the individual.

This word has been derived from the Latin term “submittere,” which means yield, lower, or let down.

The submission includes the transfer of decision-making power to a secondary party. This shift of control and acceptance is exhibited due to the latter person holding the higher power.

It is important to factor in the degree of external pressure and force that results in their submission. Submission can be categorized as willing or unwilling, owing to the magnitude of pressure and situation.

Submission usually occurs in official environments, with the superior’s decisions often considered binding and family dynamics, where the patriarchal approach is followed.

However, apart from these, submission is also featured in several religious customs and teachings. In Christianity, submission has been deemed a form of worship, wherein the desires of the Lord are given higher importance than the individuals’.

What is Surrender?

Though the word surrender has a similar preface to submission, the meanings vary greatly. While submission talks about ultimately giving in to pressure and consenting to an activity or a decision, surrender has a greater consequence.

To surrender can be referred to as the act of giving up, unlike submitting, which refers to giving up.

The word’s etymology is split into French and Latin, with the first half “sur” picked from Old French and “render” from Latin, meaning to give up.

Surrendering includes losing power, possession, and control to a third party. It denotes a situation wherein the person in question ceases fighting or struggling and ultimately admits defeat.

Used predominantly in contexts that describe a conflict or struggle, surrender refers to yielding and letting the opponent win.

It is important to note that while the submission is persuaded by the pressure and its point of focus, surrendering is an individual choice.

However, this cannot be taken at face value as the person can be put through less than ideal situations before they eventually surrender.

The word surrender is widely used across several religions, referring to the ultimate control given over to the supreme power. Humans are claimed to be enlightened when they surrender their mind, body, and soul to a higher power.

Main Differences Between Submission and Surrender

  1. While submission refers to the act of yielding to a higher authority’s decisions and demands, surrender refers to giving up fighting the higher authority.
  2. Submission cannot be consensual, depending on the situation. Though considered to be a decision made by the individual, surrender can be attributed to several other factors.
  3. The term submission has its word origin traced back to Latin, referring to the action of yielding. Both Old French and Latin are featured in surrender, which means to give up.
  4. Both the words are featured in religious teachings with submitting referring to the order of importance placed to the wishes of the Lord’s desires and surrender referring to sacrificing all worldly possession to pursue the Almighty.
  5. While submission is heavily found in business and official contexts, surrender is more common in legal jargon.
Difference Between Submission and Surrender
  1. https://www.jsad.com/doi/pdf/10.15288/qjsa.1953.14.058
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=VzHwDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT43&dq=submission+vs+surrender&ots=pNtjeIWr5S&sig=71SG3p3j83AmICpBXxUPaI11yHw
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