suc·cess | \ sək-ˈses \

Definition of success 

1 obsolete : outcome, result

2a : degree or measure of succeeding

b : favorable or desired outcome also : the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence

3 : one that succeeds

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Examples of success in a Sentence

An enormous popular and critical success, The Liars' Club was credited with (or blamed for) launching a new wave of memoir-writing. (Karr deflects this accusation: "I think memoir started with St. Augustine," she told Salon in 1997.) —Mollie Wilson O'Reilly, Commonweal, 23 Oct. 2009 Fred tries to keep up his end of the conversation, but without much success; he has never grown bulbs, cooked veal, seen a film by Fassbinder, etc. He feels provincial and out of it … —Alison Lurie, Foreign Affairs, 2006 Since I was interested in finding out about the successes as well as the failures disabled women experience in the world, I interviewed women who had some work experience, although it was often part-time work and sometimes interrupted. —Mary Grimley Mason, Working Against Odds, 2004 The necessaries of life for man in this climate may, accurately enough, be distributed under the several heads of Food, Shelter, Clothing, and Fuel; for not till we have secured these are we prepared to entertain the true problems of life with freedom and a prospect of success. —Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854 Success came easily to him. She is country music's most recent success. The growth of the tourism industry is one of the city's great successes.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Thank you to the incredible women that have made this AEE week a HUGE success! Adiel Kaplan, miamiherald, "The Steven Spielberg of porn sues to make Floridians stop pirating his raunchy videos," 12 July 2018 That company is targeting clients who bet on the success of energy and commodities markets, like crude oil. Rebecca Lurye,, "How Seven Stars Cloud Plans To Spend $283M In West Hartford," 14 July 2018 Her career as an actress was catapulted by the success of the award-winning show, and even earned her direct praise from Beyoncé, but Serayah continued to feed her true longtime passion: making music. Regina Cho, Billboard, "'Empire' Star Serayah Talks About Receiving Praise From Beyonce, Premieres New Video 'So Good'," 13 July 2018 It had been wildly underutilized over the past decade, being owned by someone who lived out of state much of the time and whose overall focus was not on the success of downtown Elgin. Mike Danahey, Elgin Courier-News, "Real estate manager has bought 14 buildings in Elgin in 4 years — he's 'taking a bet' on the city," 13 July 2018 The success of the dish lies largely in finding optimally ripe, flavorful fruit. Aleksandra Crapanzano, WSJ, "The 5-Minute Dessert of the Summer," 12 July 2018 Building manager Caitlin Avramides said the Metropolitan doesn’t keep formal metrics on the success of the program but that the administration has gotten positive feedback from residents who appreciate learning more about their commuting options. Kate Magill, Howard County Times, "Howard County wants plans for limiting Columbia traffic as development continues," 12 July 2018 The success of the Putin brand has captivated anti-establishment and anti-American politicians all over the world, as well as many people who don’t follow politics. Washington Post, "How the Kremlin turned the Russian president into a global icon," 12 July 2018 No one seems particularly up in arms about the legalization or overjoyed by the success of the business. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "5 things I found surprising about legal marijuana in Colorado," 12 July 2018

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

1537, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for success

Latin successus, from succedere — see succeed

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Statistics for success

Last Updated

6 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for success

The first known use of success was in 1537

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More Definitions for success



English Language Learners Definition of success

: the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame

: the correct or desired result of an attempt

: someone or something that is successful : a person or thing that succeeds


suc·cess | \ sək-ˈses \

Kids Definition of success

1 : satisfactory completion of something But you must, when you are calculating the odds of the mouse's success, factor in his love for the princess. —Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux

2 : the gaining of wealth, respect, or fame

3 : a person or thing that succeeds The show was a success.

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Comments on success

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


alleviating pain or harshness

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