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verb, sur·vive \sər-ˈvīv\

Simple Definition of survive

  • : to remain alive : to continue to live

  • : to continue to exist

  • : to remain alive after the death of (someone)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of survive


  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to remain alive or in existence :  live on

  3. 2 :  to continue to function or prosper

  4. transitive verb
  5. 1 :  to remain alive after the death of <he is survived by his wife>

  6. 2 :  to continue to exist or live after <survived the earthquake>

  7. 3 :  to continue to function or prosper despite :  withstand <they survived many hardships>

survivor play \-ˈvī-vər\ noun

Examples of survive in a sentence

  1. I don't see how any creature can survive under those conditions.

  2. bacteria that survive in extreme temperatures

  3. Only a few written records survive from those times.

  4. These ancient practices still survive in some regions.

  5. Some of the original bridges survive.

  6. Many businesses are struggling to survive in today's economy.

  7. Only his son survived him.

  8. She survived her husband by only a few years.

  9. He survived a political scandal and was elected to the state legislature.

  10. The company survived the recession.

Origin of survive

Middle English, to outlive, from Anglo-French survivre, from Latin supervivere, from super- + vivere to live — more at quick

First Known Use: 15th century

SURVIVE Defined for Kids


verb sur·vive \sər-ˈvīv\

Definition of survive for Students


  1. 1 :  to remain alive :  continue to exist <No creature can survive without water.> <The tradition survives to this day.>

  2. 2 :  to live or exist longer than or past the end of <The house survived the flood.>

survivor \sər-ˈvī-vər\ noun

Word Root of survive

The Latin word vivere, meaning “to live,” gives us the root viv. Words from the Latin vivere have something to do with living. To survive is to remain alive. To revive is to bring back to life. Someone vivacious is full of life and is lively and energetic. Something, such as a story, that is vivid appears to be full of life and freshness.

Medical Dictionary


verb sur·vive \sər-ˈvīv\

Medical Definition of survive

survived; surviving

  1. intransitive verb

  2. :  to remain alive or in existence :  live on

  3. 1

  4. transitive verb

  5. :  to remain alive after the death of <his son survived him>

  6. 2:  to continue to exist or live after <survived the stroke>

survival \-ˈvī-vəl\play noun
survivor \-ˈvī-vər\play noun

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up survive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to manage or play awkwardly

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