suc·ces·sor | \sək-ˈse-sər \

Definition of successor 

: one that follows especially : one who succeeds to a throne, title, estate, or office

Examples of successor in a Sentence

The CEO's successor used to be the vice president here. the successor to the throne

Recent Examples on the Web

Months after the Johnson County Commission abruptly ousted County Manager Hannes Zacharias, the commission has appointed the woman who was Zacharias’ deputy as his successor. Lynn Horsley, kansascity, "The vote was unanimous: She’s now Johnson County’s new manager," 12 July 2018 Chelsea's search to find a replacement for Antonio Conte looks to be complete as Napoli manager, Maurizio Sarri, is expected to be named as his successor., "Chelsea Expected to Appoint Antonio Conte's Successor in the Coming Days (Again)," 1 July 2018 The House Democratic Caucus chairman was widely seen as a potential successor to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Author: Sean Sullivan, David Weigel, Anchorage Daily News, "Top House Democrat loses in upset; Trump extends his winning streak in GOP primaries," 27 June 2018 Miguel Diaz-Canel, handpicked by Raul as his successor, is overseeing the drafting of a new constitution and is regarded as a younger-generation figure more open to technology, internet access and other trappings of modernity. Tracy Wilkinson,, "A year after Trump reversed Obama's opening to Cuba, the U.S. is sitting out Havana's political revamp," 22 June 2018 He was often seen at auto shows and events promoting Audi's latest products, and he was once viewed as a potential successor to Winterkorn, who was ousted days after the scandal blew up in September 2015. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Audi CEO Rupert Stadler arrested in Germany as Volkswagen emissions scandal lingers," 18 June 2018 The commissioner’s mention of those three names was notable because Van de Putte has been floated as a potential successor for years, while Gonzales and Rodriguez represent districts that overlap with Precinct 2. Jasper Scherer, San Antonio Express-News, "Paul Elizondo looks to the future after narrow primary win," 27 May 2018 The toy giant says the board has named Ynon Kreiz, a Mattel director since June 2017 as her successor, effective April 26, 2018. Washington Post, "Mattel CEO to step down after being at helm for 14 months," 19 Apr. 2018 And Buffon praised 19-year-old AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma -- touted as his successor in the national team -- whose dramatic late save against Napoli could have handed Juventus the title. Chicago Tribune,, "Real Madrid drama made Buffon 'feel alive'," 16 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'successor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of successor

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for successor

Middle English successour, from Anglo-French, from Latin successor, from succedere

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about successor

Statistics for successor

Last Updated

23 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for successor

The first known use of successor was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for successor



English Language Learners Definition of successor

: a person who has a job, position, or title after someone else : someone who succeeds another person


suc·ces·sor | \sək-ˈse-sər \

Kids Definition of successor

: a person who succeeds to a throne, title, property, or office


suc·ces·sor | \sək-ˈse-sər \

Legal Definition of successor 

: one that follows : one that succeeds another (as in a position, title, office, or estate)

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on successor

What made you want to look up successor? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!