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

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

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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 Most airline crew member unions have been pleading with aviation regulators to adopt a federal mask mandate without success. Author: Kyle Arnold, Anchorage Daily News, "Political frustrations spill onto planes as carriers, regulators try to calm rowdy, anti-mask passengers," 15 Jan. 2021 His ability to knock down 3-pointers in the flow of Golden State’s offense and make life difficult on opposing shooters has been a driving force behind the second unit’s early success. Connor Letourneau,, "How Damion Lee became such a reliable 3-point shooter for Warriors," 14 Jan. 2021 In April and May, your dreams could revolve around power and financial success, but your desires could be thwarted. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Jan. 14, 2021: Taurus, make a change; Sagittarius, listen to both sides," 14 Jan. 2021 But for Black Americans, even success is often stigmatized. Jake Lamar, The New Republic, "August Wilson’s Uncompromising Vision for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom," 14 Jan. 2021 Although Nichols hasn’t been able to visit Columbus, OSU has impressed him with academics and on-field success. cleveland, "Addison Nichols, four-star OT, talks interest in Ohio State football and eventual visit: Buckeyes Recruiting Roundup," 14 Jan. 2021 NBCUniversal Netflix and Disney each enjoyed success with new original shows in 2020, from Tiger King to The Mandalorian. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "“The Office” is the most powerful force in streaming," 13 Jan. 2021 For competitors, success at the Tour de Ski often comes down to details. Ariella Gintzler, Outside Online, "Jessie Diggins Wins the Tour de France of Skiing," 13 Jan. 2021 The climate bill’s success, seemingly assured just over a week ago, now hangs in the balance. Globe Staff,, "Real estate groups push for veto of climate bill, saying it could thwart economic recovery," 12 Jan. 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.

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First Known Use of success

1537, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for success

Latin successus, from succedere — see succeed

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Time Traveler for success

Time Traveler

The first known use of success was in 1537

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Statistics for success

Last Updated

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Success.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for success


How to pronounce success (audio)

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 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.

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