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 successfully (audio) \ adverb
successfulness noun

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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 The efforts were largely successful, though not entirely. Christal Hayes, USA TODAY, "Movie nights, baseball, phone calls: How Trump is boosting GOP unity in impeachment inquiry," 12 Nov. 2019 The Astros would try decoding the signs and, when successful, bang on a trash can to alert the batter which pitch was coming. John Shea,, "A’s weigh in on accusations of Astros’ illegal sign stealing," 12 Nov. 2019 In an interview with Quartz, Dekkers spoke about key emerging trends in the retail industry and leveraging new-age technologies to build a successful omnichannel strategy. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "A 100-year-old British retail giant’s thumb rule for Indian firms: Adapt to the digital world," 12 Nov. 2019 As successful as the Katy football team has been, particularly during the last three decades, the Tigers accomplished something for only the 15th time Nov. 7 at Legacy Stadium against Katy Taylor. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Undefeated Katy begins hunt for ninth state football title," 11 Nov. 2019 Well the other reason that Seattle is so successful is that the team has a hell of a coach. Ftw Staff, For The Win, "5 biggest takeaways from Seattle Sounders' MLS Cup win," 11 Nov. 2019 On Capitol Hill, congressional Democrats expressed sadness that Bloomberg’s offer, if successful, would eliminate the need for impeachment, which many of them had been looking forward to. Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker, "Bloomberg Offers Trump Ten Billion Dollars to Leave White House by End of Day," 8 Nov. 2019 Trump, in Dueck’s telling, is not some sort of simplistic, accidental president, but rather is the most recent, and successful, manifestation of conservative nationalism. Michael Auslin, National Review, "Colin Dueck Makes the Case for Conservative Nationalism," 5 Nov. 2019 Sherif Marakby, president and CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles (FAV), contends that the cars themselves are not the most important factor in whether autonomous vehicles are successful. Scientific American, "Self-driving cars to test city limits," 5 Nov. 2019

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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Last Updated

16 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for successful

The first known use of successful was in 1594

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How to pronounce successful (audio)

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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