suc·​cess | \ sək-ˈses How to pronounce success (audio) \

Essential Meaning of success

1 : the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame Success came easily to him. With success comes responsibility. the secret of my success [=why I am successful]
2 : the correct or desired result of an attempt Did you have any/much success in finding the dog? [=did you find the dog?] The project met with little success. [=was not successful] He tried to repair the engine but without success. [=he was not able to repair the engine]
3 : someone or something that is successful : a person or thing that succeeds The play was an immediate success. [=it was immediately popular] one of her many successes [=one of many things she has done successfully] See More ExamplesShe is country music's most recent success. The growth of the tourism industry is one of the city's great successes.Hide

Full Definition of success

1a : degree or measure of succeeding
b : favorable or desired outcome also : the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence
2 : one that succeeds
3 obsolete : outcome, result

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Auburn will ready itself for that all week, but beyond that adjustment, Harsin believes Nix’s success on Saturday will largely be determined by his preparation through the course of the week. Tom Green |, al, 14 Sep. 2021 In a world of constant disruption and fierce competition, business success relies on the ability to be fast in making decisions. Forbes, 14 Sep. 2021 When the Cubs have played well post-trade deadline, Schwindel’s performance has been a key role in that success. Meghan Montemurro,, 14 Sep. 2021 An early surprise this season has been South Broward’s success. Adam Lichtenstein,, 14 Sep. 2021 The 50 Over 50 platform is dedicated to shining a light on diverse women over the age of 50 who have achieved significant success later in life, often by overcoming formidable odds or barriers. NBC News, 14 Sep. 2021 Salvador Dalí masks and red jumpsuits would become a global success. Pamela Avila, USA TODAY, 14 Sep. 2021 Thirty of those rushing yards came on the first drive as the Chargers ran Austin Ekeler and Larry Rountree III behind Slater with success. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, 14 Sep. 2021 In recent years, though, researchers have started looking at ketamine therapy as a treatment for severe depression and anxiety, particularly for people who haven't had success on other anti-depression medications. Julie Mazziotta,, 14 Sep. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of success

1537, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for success

Latin successus, from succedere — see succeed

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About success

Time Traveler for success

Time Traveler

The first known use of success was in 1537

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near success

succès fou



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for success

Last Updated

16 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Success.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for success


suc·​cess | \ sək-ˈses How to pronounce success (audio) \

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on success

Nglish: Translation of success for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of success for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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