succumb

verb
suc·​cumb | \ sə-ˈkəm How to pronounce succumb (audio) \
succumbed; succumbing; succumbs

Definition of succumb

intransitive verb

1 : to yield to superior strength or force or overpowering appeal or desire succumb to temptation
2 : to be brought to an end (such as death) by the effect of destructive or disruptive forces

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Choose the Right Synonym for succumb

yield, submit, capitulate, succumb, relent, defer mean to give way to someone or something that one can no longer resist. yield may apply to any sort or degree of giving way before force, argument, persuasion, or entreaty. yields too easily in any argument submit suggests full surrendering after resistance or conflict to the will or control of another. a repentant sinner vowing to submit to the will of God capitulate stresses the fact of ending all resistance and may imply either a coming to terms (as with an adversary) or hopelessness in the face of an irresistible opposing force. officials capitulated to the protesters' demands succumb implies weakness and helplessness to the one that gives way or an overwhelming power to the opposing force. a stage actor succumbing to the lure of Hollywood relent implies a yielding through pity or mercy by one who holds the upper hand. finally relented and let the children stay up late defer implies a voluntary yielding or submitting out of respect or reverence for or deference and affection toward another. I defer to your expertise in these matters

Did You Know?

If the idea of someone succumbing brings to mind the image of a person lying down before more powerful forces, you have an excellent grasp of the Latin that gave us succumb. Succumb derives from the French word succomber, which is itself from the Latin word succumbere, meaning "to fall down" or "to yield." Succumbere was formed by combining sub-, meaning "under," with -cumbere, meaning "to lie down." The earliest application of succumb in the late 15th century was as a transitive verb meaning "to bring down" or "to overwhelm," but this sense is now obsolete. The current sense of "to yield" first appeared in print in the early 17th century; the more specific use-yielding to a disease or other destructive force-followed two centuries later.

Examples of succumb in a Sentence

Lepanto occupies a curious military fault line between ancient and modern. It was fought with galleys almost identical to those that had clashed in this same gulf sixteen centuries before, when the ships of Antony and Cleopatra succumbed to those of Octavian at the Battle of Actium. — Colin Thubron, New York Times Book Review, 9 Apr. 2009 Last spring, the Knight Ridder chain succumbed to pressure from its largest private investor and sold off its entire lineup of 32 papers to the McClatchy Co. for more than $4 billion. — Eric Klinenberg, Mother Jones, March/April 2007 Yet after Paul died in 1978 and his successor John Paul I succumbed to a heart attack only 34 days into his papacy, Wojyla was so oblivious to his impending fate that he spent the first day of the new papal conclave nonchalantly browsing through a quarterly review of Marxist theory. — David Van Biema, Time, 11 Apr. 2005 Interviews with cadets, police officers and investigators trying to crack down on crime inside Mexico City's 80,000-officer force revealed that even the most earnest cops often succumb to the temptations that are both plentiful and low risk. — Alan Zarembo, Newsweek, 4 Dec. 2000 They will pressure you, and you must try not to succumb. he finally succumbed and let his wife get rid of his dilapidated easy chair
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Recent Examples on the Web The first American citizen to succumb to the new coronavirus died in China, according to a report released Saturday. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "China confirms first death of US citizen from coronavirus," 8 Feb. 2020 The heavy cloth immobilized my limbs, the whirlpool baths churned pleasantly in the background, and, with no smartphone or other distractions, I was forced to succumb to the present. Washington Post, "Soaking up history in Arkansas’ Hot Springs National Park," 7 Feb. 2020 BEIJING - The Philippines has blocked entry to travelers from China, including from Hong Kong and Macao, after a man from Wuhan died in Manila of the coronavirus, the first person outside China to succumb to the pneumonia-like respiratory illness. Author: Anna Fifield, Alex Horton, Anchorage Daily News, "Coronavirus infections predicted to grow exponentially; first death outside China," 2 Feb. 2020 To believe otherwise at this point is to succumb to fantasy. Damon Linker, TheWeek, "The only thing we don't know about the outcome of Trump's impeachment trial," 22 Jan. 2020 And about four hours into the trial, late Tuesday afternoon, Senator James Risch, Republican of Idaho, appeared to succumb to the hush and briefly fell asleep, slumped slightly in his chair with his head resting on his right hand. Emily Cochrane, New York Times, "A Challenge for the Trial: 100 Senators Who Love to Talk, Sitting in Silence," 21 Jan. 2020 Others may live, for now, but, without their homes, food and water, are likely to succumb to the elements soon. Abby Jones, The Conversation, "Rotting feral pig carcasses teach scientists what happens when tons of animals die all at once, as in Australia’s bushfires," 10 Jan. 2020 Of those who survive that period, more than half succumb to complications within 30 days, or suffer major long-term effects. Adrian Walker, BostonGlobe.com, "Tom Tinlin was lucky to survive his aneurysm. Now he’s advocating for other survivors," 19 Jan. 2020 During the next few weeks, hundreds more would succumb to starvation or disease. National Geographic, "The first official Jewish transport to Auschwitz brought 999 young women. This is their story.," 14 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'succumb.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of succumb

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for succumb

French & Latin; French succomber, from Latin succumbere, from sub- + -cumbere to lie down; akin to Latin cubare to lie

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Time Traveler for succumb

Time Traveler

The first known use of succumb was in 1604

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Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Succumb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Succumbing. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for succumb

succumb

verb
How to pronounce succumb (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of succumb

somewhat formal
: to stop trying to resist something
: to die

succumb

verb
suc·​cumb | \ sə-ˈkəm How to pronounce succumb (audio) \
succumbed; succumbing

Kids Definition of succumb

1 : to yield to force or pressure Don't succumb to temptation.

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More from Merriam-Webster on succumb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for succumb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with succumb

Spanish Central: Translation of succumb

Nglish: Translation of succumb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of succumb for Arabic Speakers

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