suc·​cess·​ful | \ sək-ˈses-fəl How to pronounce successful (audio) \

Definition of successful

1 : resulting or terminating in success a successful attempt
2 : gaining or having gained success a successful investor

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Other Words from successful

successfully \ sək-​ˈses-​fə-​lē How to pronounce successful (audio) \ adverb
successfulness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for successful



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Examples of successful in a Sentence

the play had a successful run on Broadway sold their successful dry-cleaning business and retired to Hawaii
Recent Examples on the Web What is being missed for people in recovery to be successful in sustaining it long-term? Tammy Lofink,, "Ask Tammy Lofink: Resources can help to support recovery from addiction," 24 Apr. 2021 Other walk-in opportunities may be held in the future if the trial program is successful. Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit nurse was afraid to get COVID-19 vaccine. Then tragedy struck.," 23 Apr. 2021 In what seemed like a miracle, my implantation was successful. Nikaline Mccarley, CNN, "Infertility and my path to surrogacy," 23 Apr. 2021 Some legal orders issued from on high have to be disobeyed for the good of the Army or to ensure a campaign is successful. WSJ, "Cheating, Excuses and Redemption at West Point," 23 Apr. 2021 The events have been successful in recent years, Schend said, with a 59 percent increase in unused medicines that have been collected in Vernon. Steve Smith,, "Drug take back events set for April 24," 22 Apr. 2021 Automakers were successful in meeting the standards, while recording record profits. Fortune, "Scott Stringer: Strong clean vehicle standards will help U.S. automakers compete globally," 22 Apr. 2021 Unified also means that experience management doesn’t become another silo with its own agents, skills and people; there is far too much overlap with other endpoint management disciplines for this to be successful. Sumir Karayi, Forbes, "CIOs Are Now Employee Experience Curators: Three Strategies For Hybrid Workplace Success," 21 Apr. 2021 More:What are the odds Derek Chauvin is successful in appeal of guilty verdict in George Floyd murder? Christal Hayes, USA TODAY, "Across the US, a tidal wave of joy fills city streets after Derek Chauvin is convicted in the death of George Floyd," 21 Apr. 2021

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

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for successful

Time Traveler

The first known use of successful was in 1594

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Last Updated

26 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Successful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for successful



English Language Learners Definition of successful

: having the correct or desired result : ending in success
: having gotten or achieved wealth, respect, or fame


suc·​cess·​ful | \ sək-ˈses-fəl How to pronounce successful (audio) \

Kids Definition of successful

1 : resulting or ending well or in success My attempt to swim across the harbor was successful.
2 : gaining or having gained success a successful business

Other Words from successful

successfully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb

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Comments on successful

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