suc·ceed | \ sək-ˈsēd \
succeeded; succeeding; succeeds

Definition of succeed 

intransitive verb

1a : to come next after another in office or position or in possession of an estate especially : to inherit sovereignty, rank, or title

b : to follow after another in order

2a : to turn out well

b : to attain a desired object or end students who succeed in college

3 obsolete : to pass to a person by inheritance

transitive verb

1 : to follow in sequence and especially immediately

2 : to come after as heir or successor

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Other words from succeed

succeeder noun

Choose the Right Synonym for succeed

follow, succeed, ensue, supervene mean to come after something or someone. follow may apply to a coming after in time, position, or logical sequence. speeches followed the dinner succeed implies a coming after immediately in a sequence determined by natural order, inheritance, election, or laws of rank. she succeeded her father as head of the business ensue commonly suggests a logical consequence or naturally expected development. after the talk a general discussion ensued supervene suggests the following or beginning of something unforeseen or unpredictable. unable to continue because of supervening circumstances

Examples of succeed in a Sentence

Ghosh's remarkable detective work succeeds in rescuing an entire group of marginalized figures from British and South Asian amnesia, if not outright denial. —Maya Jasanoff, New York Review of Books, 18 Dec. 2008 Enter Gordon Brown. Journalistic legend has it that, over dinner in a trendy London restaurant as long ago as 1994, the two of them settled that Blair would lead the Labour party for an unspecified length of time and Brown would then succeed him. —David Pryce-Jones, National Review, 28 May 2007 Maguire, a freelance writer who specializes in culture and technology and recently published a book about spelling bees, paints a vivid portrait of Sullivan as a tough-minded micromanager who tightly controlled every aspect of his show, even telling Ella Fitzgerald what to sing. Behind the avuncular, slightly befuddled façade viewers knew, he writes, was a man consumed by ambition and driven to succeed at any cost. —Peter Keepnews, New York Times Book Review, 11 June 2006 You can succeed where others failed. The plan just might succeed. Their attempt seemed unlikely to succeed. Both of them have ambitions to succeed the prime minister. She will succeed him as chair of the committee. The Queen died and was succeeded by James I. James I succeeded to the throne upon the Queen's death in 1603.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Kravitz’s succeeds model Edie Campbell, who was the most recent face of the fragrance. Aubri Juhasz, The Cut, "Zoë Kravitz Is Also Now a Fragrance Spokesmodel," 13 July 2018 Grau will succeed Chief John McDermond who is retiring July 31. Cincinnati Enquirer,, "Florence names new police chief: Thomas Grau," 13 July 2018 As president of the Board of Supervisors, Breed had succeeded the late Mayor Ed Lee on an interim basis, but the board’s progressives replaced her with Farrell, partly of because Breed held dual executive and legislative roles. Dominic Fracassa,, "Now-former SF Mayor Farrell looks back on short term, future of city," 12 July 2018 The lone survivor of that cohort, Mr. Kelleher, is older than his boss and unlikely to succeed him. Liz Hoffman, WSJ, "Morgan Stanley Elevates CEO Contender," 10 July 2018 The delegation succeeded in safely escorting out people who had been stuck in the church since police and armed pro-government allies violently put down a protest in the city Sunday. Fox News, "Government allies rough up priests at Nicaragua church siege," 10 July 2018 To succeed, Gawande will need to make clear who his real boss is — the employees or the business leaders who have an inherent interest in reducing their runaway health care expenses. Casey Ross, STAT, "As Atul Gawande steps into a risky health CEO role, here are five challenges he faces," 9 July 2018 He will be succeeded by the current vice president, Chrystie Crawford-Smick. Allan Vought, The Aegis, "Moving back to classroom, Harford teachers union leader steps down," 6 July 2018 Sheridan, 72, succeeds Charles R. Gray, whose term as chairman ended Saturday. Kenneth R. Gosselin,, "Tony Sheridan To Lead Connecticut Airport Authority As Chairman," 2 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'succeed.' 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 succeed

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for succeed

Middle English succeden, from Anglo-French succeeder, from Latin succedere to go up, follow after, succeed, from sub- near + cedere to go — more at sub-

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Phrases Related to succeed

nothing succeeds like success

only succeed in

Statistics for succeed

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for succeed

The first known use of succeed was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for succeed



English Language Learners Definition of succeed

: to do what you are trying to do : to achieve the correct or desired result

: to happen in the planned or desired way

: to come after (something) in a series


suc·ceed | \ sək-ˈsēd \
succeeded; succeeding

Kids Definition of succeed

1 : to achieve a desired result : be successful Half of them wanted me to mess up, and half of them wanted me to succeed. —Jack Gantos, Joey Pigza Loses Control

2 : to turn out well The plan succeeded.

3 : to come after : follow This new model of car succeeds the old one.

4 : to come next after another person in office or position

suc·ceed | \ sək-ˈsēd \

Legal Definition of succeed 

1 : to come next after another in office or position

2a : to take something by succession succeeded to his mother's estate

b : to acquire the rights, obligations, and charges of a decedent in property comprising an estate the heir, who accepts, is considered as having succeeded to the deceased from the moment of his deathLouisiana Civil Code

transitive verb

1 : to follow in sequence and especially immediately

2 : to come after as heir or successor

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More from Merriam-Webster on succeed

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for succeed

Spanish Central: Translation of succeed

Nglish: Translation of succeed for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of succeed for Arabic Speakers

Comments on succeed

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