succeed

verb
suc·​ceed | \ sək-ˈsēd How to pronounce succeed (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Flaks, 48, succeeds Elliot Joseph, who is retiring. Kenneth R. Gosselin, courant.com, "Jeffrey Flaks takes over as CEO of Hartford HealthCare amid time of expansion and consolidation across Connecticut," 29 Aug. 2019 Her prose succeeds in creating an easy intimacy that feels like conversation. Peter Biskind, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Author Emily Nussbaum sees the big picture on the small screen," 29 Aug. 2019 If Baylor transfer QB Zach Smith succeeds, the Golden Hurricane can get to bowl eligibility. Christopher Smith, al, "10 college football season win totals, futures to bet," 28 Aug. 2019 Gechter, who most recently served on the organization’s executive board as vice president of programs and services and vice president of administration, succeeds Peter Levine, who served from 2016 to 2019. Sergio Carmona, sun-sentinel.com, "JARC FL’s new board president honored to lead," 28 Aug. 2019 The set is the rock group's third No. 1, following 2014's .5: The Gray Chapter and 2008's All Hope Is Gone. Making for perhaps the crunchiest back-to-back weeks at No. 1 in the Artist 100's five-year history, Slipknot succeeds Tool at the summit. Xander Zellner, Billboard, "Slipknot Hits No. 1 On Billboard Artist 100 Chart," 21 Aug. 2019 As with the two previous anthologies from We Need Diverse Books, this collection admirably succeeds in making available to all readers a wider and more representative range of American voices and protagonists. — Kathie Meizner, Washington Post, "A powerful lesson about the March on Washington and other best books for kids this month," 20 Aug. 2019 Who succeeds four-year starter Anthony Lawrence at quarterback? Don Norcross, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Aidan Valencia, USD O-line in spotlight as season nears," 15 Aug. 2019 Geisick succeeds Nancy Johnson, who is retiring after four years as SUSD superintendent and 30 years as an educator in the Bay Area. Anne Gelhaus, The Mercury News, "Saratoga community briefs for the week of Aug. 16," 11 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

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-

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about succeed

Statistics for succeed

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for succeed

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for succeed

succeed

verb

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

succeed

verb
suc·​ceed | \ sək-ˈsēd How to pronounce succeed (audio) \
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 How to pronounce succeed (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

WORD OF THE DAY

miscellaneous remnants or debris

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!