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 In fact, the result wouldn’t have been as close if not for Trump’s success courting blacks and Hispanics. Mario Loyola, National Review, "Trump’s Black and Latino Voters," 12 Nov. 2020 Keller said the early success by archery hunters and youth hunters partly offset the slow start to the firearms season. Tony Kennedy, Star Tribune, "Minnesota deer opener was poor for harvest and CWD sampling," 12 Nov. 2020 Stant had plenty of success hitting from the left side of the net, at one point putting down three consecutive points before Northshore put a pair of blockers in her way. Chris Dabe,, "Mount Carmel rallies from first-set loss against Northshore, advances to semifinal," 12 Nov. 2020 But Disney Plus’ success is tempered by the investment costs associated with it. Washington Post, "Disney’s profits plummet as coronavirus keeps its core businesses flailing," 12 Nov. 2020 Following Billie Eilish’s dizzying success last year—including triple platinum album sales, five Grammy Awards, and recording the latest Bond theme—she might be forgiven for taking a break while under lockdown. Liam Hess, Vogue, "Billie Eilish’s “Therefore I Am” Video Is a ’90s Mall Rat’s Dream," 12 Nov. 2020 The offensive line’s success coincided with the emergence of star running back Benny Snell, who left UK as the program’s career rushing leader and the program’s only player to rush for at least 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky offensive line coach John Schlarman dies after battle with cancer," 12 Nov. 2020 President Trump’s unlikely success was largely due to his defense of the oil industry and law enforcement as well as concerns that the Democratic Party was moving too far to the left. Molly Hennessy-fiske Houston Bureau Chief, Los Angeles Times, "‘We’ve only started’: How Latino support for Trump grew in Texas borderlands," 12 Nov. 2020 The late 60's are the most recent Golden Era for simultaneous success among the three major Indiana teams. Akeem Glaspie, The Indianapolis Star, "IU, Purdue and Notre Dame football are all undefeated — can they keep it up?," 12 Nov. 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

14 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Success.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 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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