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


We see it as our duty to give succor to those in need.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

So sometimes the traveler is asked whence will come their succor. WSJ, "And the Fair Land," 21 Nov. 2018 But what if there is scant succor to be had, and our true natures are not noble but necrotic, pestilential? Constance Grady, Vox, "Elite library sorters race to process books in cutthroat competition," 17 Nov. 2018 The scrunchy elastic-tabbed back flexes to succor heels. Lauren Ingram, WSJ, "These Are the Most Comfortable Work Heels," 20 Sep. 2018 But one academic links the desire to travel with warm beverages back to humans’ earliest needs for warmth and succor. Nancy A. Nichols, The Atlantic, "Cupholders Are Everywhere," 22 Apr. 2018 Many of the company’s stores (though not all) allow RVs and trailers to camp in their lots, providing simplicity and succor to weary travelers. Aaron Gulley, Outside Online, "Don't Camp at Walmart," 27 Apr. 2018 That’s a far cry from Gatsby’s romantic Rolls, or even the adventurous camper in a Model T, let alone the car interior as succor akin to a mother’s breast. Nancy A. Nichols, The Atlantic, "Cupholders Are Everywhere," 22 Apr. 2018 America, the land of refuge, offered little succor. Neil Genzlinger, New York Times, "David Wyman, Scholar of America’s Holocaust Response, Dies at 89," 16 Mar. 2018 Over the centuries, there have been many thousands of hot nights from Massachusetts to Mississippi where blood and tears blended, where rape was commonplace and where no one ever came to offer succor, much less release. Walter Mosley, The Hollywood Reporter, "Walter Mosley on 'In the Heat of the Night' at 50: Does Mister Tibbs Still Matter?," 1 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for succor

Last Updated

15 May 2019

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Time Traveler for succor

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

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More Definitions for succor



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with succor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for succor

Spanish Central: Translation of succor

Nglish: Translation of succor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of succor for Arabic Speakers

Comments on succor

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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