suc·​cor | \ ˈsə-kər How to pronounce succor (audio) \

Definition of succor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : relief also : aid, help
2 : something that furnishes relief


succored; succoring\ ˈsə-​k(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce succoring (audio) \

Definition of succor (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to go to the aid of : relieve

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Other Words from succor


succorer \ ˈsə-​kər-​ər How to pronounce succorer (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?


If you're in need of an explanation of the origins of "succor," we can help. Middle English speakers adapted "socour," the predecessor of "succor," from the Anglo-French sucors, which essentially had the same meaning as our modern word. "Sucors," in turn, derives from the Medieval Latin succursus, itself a derivative of the Latin verb succurrere, meaning "to run to the rescue or "to bring aid." That Latin verb was a composite of the prefix sub- (meaning "from below") and the verb "currere" (meaning "to run"). "Succor" has been saving the day in English (as both a noun and a verb) since at least the 13th century.

Examples of succor in a Sentence

Noun We see it as our duty to give succor to those in need.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The rice and beans were crucial to the experience, offering succor from the chile’s needling spice, but also fortifying and delicious on their own. Patricia Escárcega, Bon Appétit, "It’s Time We Give the Mexican Combo Platter the Credit It Deserves," 13 Feb. 2020 Still, the longer the protests go on without substantial political change or economic succor, the more fatigue and fatalism have crept in. Vivian Yee, New York Times, "For Lebanon’s Shiites, a Dilemma: Stay Loyal to Hezbollah or Keep Protesting?," 4 Feb. 2020 Mississippi’s immigrant rights infrastructure is as weak as its chicken industry is strong, and this week, activists and lawyers were pouring in from around the Southeast and beyond to offer expertise, representation and succor. Richard Fausset, New York Times, "After ICE Raids, the Parking Lot Was Crowded, but No One Was There to Work," 9 Aug. 2019 Beleaguered Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell got succor recently from an unlikely source, the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland. George Melloan, WSJ, "The Myth of Monetary Stimulus Is Unraveling," 8 July 2019 The Democrats seeking the presidency in 2020 did not hesitate to do so: Mr. Trump had scarcely finished speaking from the White House on Monday when his Democratic challengers blamed him explicitly for giving succor to extremists. Alexander Burns, New York Times, "Shootings Spur Debate on Extremism and Guns, With Trump on Defense," 5 Aug. 2019 But women did more than succor the sick and wounded. Brenda Wineapple, The New Republic, "Who wrote women out of Civil War history?," 16 Aug. 2019 Not even the annual wage of $30,000 is succor for the daily monotony of working alone writing manuals for a telecommunications company in North Carolina. Aimee Lewis, CNN, "Jill Ellis: The shy girl from England who became US Soccer's record-breaking head coach," 5 July 2019 But there are fans who really do get some succor from that rhetoric. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Black Mirror’s Miley Cyrus Episode Isn’t That Far-Fetched," 6 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Their research may even lead to innovations in antimicrobial properties that can succor in the imminent fearsome post-antibiotic era. Prayan Pokharel, Smithsonian, "How Insect Poop Could Solve All Our Problems," 17 Aug. 2017 That philosophy has succored me through breakups, deaths and career reversals. Leonard Pitts Jr, The Mercury News, "Pitts: The Great Trumpkin rises from the Trumpkin patch," 19 Jan. 2017

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for succor


Middle English socour, sucurs (taken as plural), from Anglo-French sucur, sucors, from Medieval Latin succursus, from Latin succurrere to run to the rescue, bring aid, from sub- + currere to run — more at car

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

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Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Succor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for succor


How to pronounce succor (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of succor

literary : something that you do or give to help someone who is suffering or in a difficult situation


suc·​cor | \ ˈsə-kər How to pronounce succor (audio) \

Kids Definition of succor

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More from Merriam-Webster on succor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for succor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with succor

Spanish Central: Translation of succor

Nglish: Translation of succor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of succor for Arabic Speakers

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