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 The study also confirmed what has been evident for years — the ballpark has been an overwhelming success in attracting fans to watch the Brewers play and attend other events, such as concerts. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Miller Park economic impact set at $2.5 billion, according to a new chamber of commerce study," 17 Feb. 2020 But while integration – baseball’s great experiment – was a resounding success on the field, at the gates and in changing racial attitudes, Negro League teams soon lost all of their stars and struggled to retain fans. Rob Ruck, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Baseball’s Negro Leagues Defied the Stereotypes of Segregation," 15 Feb. 2020 Childproof packaging is a major public health success. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Parents, grandparents to blame for half of child poisonings, study says," 12 Feb. 2020 The funeral was a success, but Grundy's grave is currently unmarked, Bather said. Ben Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "GoFundMe page set for ex-NBA player Anthony Grundy's tombstone," 12 Feb. 2020 In pursuit of e-commerce success, unorthodox, hyper-local methods have also come under consideration. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "Online spending in Africa shows just how much work e-commerce companies still have to do," 10 Feb. 2020 Only once that first volume was a success, and Alcott started receiving huge bags of letters asking whether Jo married her rich, handsome neighbor, Laurie, who is madly in love with her, did Alcott send Jo down the aisle, but not with Laurie. Joan Acocella, The New Yorker, "What’s Lost and Gained in a Modern “Little Women”," 7 Feb. 2020 Despite the Big Kid’s success, by 2008 Graco was still outselling Evenflo. Daniela Porat, ProPublica, "Evenflo, Maker of the “Big Kid” Booster Seat, Put Profits Over Child Safety," 6 Feb. 2020 The growing season no longer dictate’s the town’s success, and the number of people in the town changes with the day. National Geographic, "Can tourism save Italy’s ‘Dying Town’?," 6 Feb. 2020

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

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Success.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on success

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for success

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with success

Spanish Central: Translation of success

Nglish: Translation of success for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of success for Arabic Speakers

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