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 Pattern-matching is an informal system Silicon Valley investors use to evaluate startups and entrepreneurs based on companies or founder personality types that have been successful. Morgan Debaun For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, 11 June 2021 Some people though have been successful in their quest for love after vaccination. Briah Lumpkins, The Enquirer, 11 June 2021 In addition to explaining what CRT is, the handbook is a guide for anti-CRT activists to grow their social network and even run a successful school board campaign. Matt Leach, Fox News, 8 June 2021 California had been successful at managing COVID-19 until that month, when the virus wreaked havoc on the state. Justin Ray, Los Angeles Times, 8 June 2021 Federal law forbids government employees from being sued for defamation, meaning that if the move was successful, Carroll’s claim would be dismissed., 8 June 2021 Washington’s teams at Hollywood Hills weren’t always successful. Adam Lichtenstein,, 8 June 2021 So, Frank made the transition and signed a very sweet deal with Capitol, with a blue-chip royalty fee and substantial back-end payments if the record was successful. Tony Oppedisano, Town & Country, 8 June 2021 His successful 2013 campaign spent $38.5 million while Republican Ken Cuccinelli spent $21 million, for a total of $59.5 million. Washington Post, 7 June 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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Statistics for successful

Last Updated

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Successful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 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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