1 of 2


suc·​cor ˈsə-kər How to pronounce succor (audio)
: relief
also : aid, help
: something that furnishes relief


2 of 2


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

transitive verb

: to go to the aid of : relieve
succorer 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
As Israeli forces pursue their mission to destroy the militant Hamas movement into the heart of Gaza City, civilians are bearing the brunt and the hospitals that once provided succor are shutting down as communications break down and fuel for generators runs out. Miriam Berger, Washington Post, 14 Nov. 2023 The Death Star succors, energizes, feeds, clothes, medicates, houses, warms, and cools us with its throbbing complexity—woe to the planets in the way of its progress. Christopher Ketcham, Harper's Magazine, 16 Oct. 2023 In addition to providing spiritual succor to those on strike, many rabbis have also joined the picket line themselves. Sonja Sharp, Los Angeles Times, 15 Sep. 2023 This place of succor is an extensive archaeological site now, and there is an ancient theater set right in the middle of it. Teju Cole, New York Times, 12 Sep. 2023 At the root of such succor are Europe’s more than encouraging box-office admissions, which saw a marked uptick in late 2022 and have continued to rise into the new year. Ben Croll, Variety, 18 June 2023 So sometimes the traveler is asked whence will come their succor. WSJ, 22 Nov. 2022 Over the years, Mr. Lukashenko has performed a balancing act with his foreign policy, playing the West off against Russia in an effort to preserve his independence while extracting economic succor from both. New York Times, 9 Aug. 2021 Then there’s the mental succor. Washington Post, 23 Dec. 2020
The Islamist extremist organization received direct support and succor from Pakistan’s military establishment, and various wings of its leadership were allowed sanctuary in Pakistani cities. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 6 Nov. 2023 The world’s inability or unwillingness to displace an unreconstructed Qaddafi would give succor to a number of groups, including al-Qaeda, that could seize chaos in Libya and North Africa as an opportunity to extend their influence. Dirk Vandewalle, Foreign Affairs, 21 Mar. 2011 Organizations that succored Israel’s powerful pro-democracy movement this year, while also recognized for innovative humanitarian work outside Israel, quickly shifted to helping fellow citizens at a moment of excruciating loss. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 Oct. 2023 By seeking succor from regulators, Microsoft is acknowledging the limits of AI’s powers as a panacea—a timely warning that the hoards of startups, venture capital firms, and established companies betting huge sums on AI makeovers would do well to take to heart. Alexei Oreskovic, Fortune, 2 Oct. 2023 Butterflies whose prairies have been devoured by cornfields find succor in unkempt strips of roadside milkweed. Ben Goldfarb, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Sep. 2023 Meanwhile, astonishing acts of love — acts for which there are really no words — transformed lives, offered succor to those facing death and began to break down stigma. Washington Post, 11 May 2023 Riot Noir, its Black RIG, often gives succor to the company’s partnership with South Los Angeles’ technology and entrepreneurship center, exposing Black and Brown students to a career in gaming. Paige McGlauflin, Fortune, 26 Apr. 2023 Trump’s venting may have been a kind of self-medication, succor after a day of unaccustomed humility and painful humiliation. Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 4 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'succor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined above

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


Dictionary Entries Near succor

Cite this Entry

“Succor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
suc·​cor ˈsək-ər How to pronounce succor (audio)


2 of 2 verb
succored; succoring ˈsək-(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce succor (audio)
: to go to the aid of (one in need or distress) : relieve
succorer noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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