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 succor (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 succor (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 Reba, though, was able to find some small succor during the lockdown that left her quarantining with her grieving family in Oklahoma. Melissa Locker, Southern Living, "4 Life Lessons We’ve Learned from Reba McEntire This Year," 30 Dec. 2020 Sports have often been a comfort in troubling times, most notably two decades ago, when baseball provided succor for a country reeling from the extremist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Ken Belson, New York Times, "N.F.L. Drafts Players, but Will They Play in the Fall?," 24 Apr. 2020 So far, no major bond investor has publicly said emerging markets should be granted temporary, let alone permanent, succor on their foreign commercial borrowings. Paul Wallace,, "Sovereign Debt Relief Is Missing One Player: Bondholders," 13 Apr. 2020 Apple, at least, seems to gain succor and creative inspiration from pining for only the most nourishing kind of connection. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Fiona Apple’s Survival Guide to Isolation," 17 Apr. 2020 In the afternoon, Cuomo gave stressed New Yorkers succor by way of slideshows, monitoring the state’s progress in flattening the coronavirus curve. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "The Shock Doctrine Came for Bail Reform," 7 Apr. 2020 Will live-streams of Coldplay give anything near the same succor? Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Pop Music’s Version of Life Doesn’t Exist Anymore," 19 Mar. 2020 That power would be wasted, Professor Rogoff said, if the United States did not use its resources both to aid other nations and provide succor to the impoverished people within its own borders. Jeff Sommer, New York Times, "This Time Really Is Different," 12 Mar. 2020 The artist, understandably skeptical of Christianity, sought succor in esoteric spiritual movements, first in the teachings of New Thought and Theosophy, later in the study of Agni Yoga. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Agnes Pelton Finally Gets Her Due With a Major New Show at the Whitney," 10 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Together, the two hold the key to some revolutionary technological breakthrough that might succor the ailing globe. Washington Post, "Jeff VanderMeer’s ‘Hummingbird Salamander’ is a gripping eco-thriller full of cinematic set pieces," 6 Apr. 2021 If the bedsit seemed fashioned for a Barbara Pym character to nurse her hot-plate supper, and the garret to succor a starving painter or poet, the New York studio apartment, from its beginnings, promised grander things. Penelope Green, New York Times, "What It’s Like Self-Isolating in a Studio Apartment," 20 Apr. 2020 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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Time Traveler for succor

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

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Cite this Entry

“Succor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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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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