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

But there is one trend that's been creeping up as the obvious successor to normcore, gorpcore. Tara Gonzalez, Glamour, "A Fleece Coat That's Practical and Surprisingly In," 18 Oct. 2018 Several factors have contributed to the rightward trend, none more important than Justice Neil Gorsuch's first full term as successor to the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Supreme Court's conservatives mark return to power with major rulings, minor punts," 27 June 2018 Webb is seen as the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope and is NASA’s top science priority. Karen Kaplan,, "If NASA can overcome human error and other problems, its James Webb Space Telescope may finally launch in 2021," 27 June 2018 Becoming Chief Toady may have solidified Pence’s position as putative successor to Trump as leader of the GOP and of MAGA country. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "George Will Calls ‘Repulsive’ Pence Worse Than Trump," 10 May 2018 Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who hosted the last Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2015, signaled that leaders were likely to confirm Charles as successor to his mother, who turns 92 on Saturday. Time, "Queen Elizabeth Publicly Supports Prince Charles for the First Time to Succeed Her as Leader of the Commonwealth," 19 Apr. 2018 The UConn Foundation’s board plans to name an interim president in the coming weeks before starting a national search for Newton’s permanent successor. Matthew Ormseth,, "Head of UConn Foundation, Credited With Boosting Endowment, To Leave In August," 19 June 2018 New Orleans has pondered the possibility of drafting a quarterback in recent years, as a successor to 39-year-old Drew Brees. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "Lamar Jackson and Jaire Alexander reportedly met with these NFL teams before the draft," 24 Apr. 2018 But a loss would be an embarrassing stumble for the man seen as the likely successor to retiring GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch. CBS News, "Mitt Romney faces crowded Senate race in Utah," 20 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.

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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

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Statistics for successor

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for successor

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

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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)

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More from Merriam-Webster on successor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with successor

Spanish Central: Translation of successor

Nglish: Translation of successor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of successor for Arabic Speakers

Comments on successor

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to make faulty or ineffective

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