succumb

verb
suc·​cumb | \ sə-ˈkəm How to pronounce succumb (audio) \
succumbed; succumbing; succumbs

Definition of succumb

intransitive verb

1 : to yield to superior strength or force or overpowering appeal or desire succumb to temptation
2 : to be brought to an end (such as death) by the effect of destructive or disruptive forces

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Choose the Right Synonym for succumb

yield, submit, capitulate, succumb, relent, defer mean to give way to someone or something that one can no longer resist. yield may apply to any sort or degree of giving way before force, argument, persuasion, or entreaty. yields too easily in any argument submit suggests full surrendering after resistance or conflict to the will or control of another. a repentant sinner vowing to submit to the will of God capitulate stresses the fact of ending all resistance and may imply either a coming to terms (as with an adversary) or hopelessness in the face of an irresistible opposing force. officials capitulated to the protesters' demands succumb implies weakness and helplessness to the one that gives way or an overwhelming power to the opposing force. a stage actor succumbing to the lure of Hollywood relent implies a yielding through pity or mercy by one who holds the upper hand. finally relented and let the children stay up late defer implies a voluntary yielding or submitting out of respect or reverence for or deference and affection toward another. I defer to your expertise in these matters

Did You Know?

If the idea of someone succumbing brings to mind the image of a person lying down before more powerful forces, you have an excellent grasp of the Latin that gave us succumb. Succumb derives from the French word succomber, which is itself from the Latin word succumbere, meaning "to fall down" or "to yield." Succumbere was formed by combining sub-, meaning "under," with -cumbere, meaning "to lie down." The earliest application of succumb in the late 15th century was as a transitive verb meaning "to bring down" or "to overwhelm," but this sense is now obsolete. The current sense of "to yield" first appeared in print in the early 17th century; the more specific use-yielding to a disease or other destructive force-followed two centuries later.

Examples of succumb in a Sentence

Lepanto occupies a curious military fault line between ancient and modern. It was fought with galleys almost identical to those that had clashed in this same gulf sixteen centuries before, when the ships of Antony and Cleopatra succumbed to those of Octavian at the Battle of Actium. — Colin Thubron, New York Times Book Review, 9 Apr. 2009 Last spring, the Knight Ridder chain succumbed to pressure from its largest private investor and sold off its entire lineup of 32 papers to the McClatchy Co. for more than $4 billion. — Eric Klinenberg, Mother Jones, March/April 2007 Yet after Paul died in 1978 and his successor John Paul I succumbed to a heart attack only 34 days into his papacy, Wojyla was so oblivious to his impending fate that he spent the first day of the new papal conclave nonchalantly browsing through a quarterly review of Marxist theory. — David Van Biema, Time, 11 Apr. 2005 Interviews with cadets, police officers and investigators trying to crack down on crime inside Mexico City's 80,000-officer force revealed that even the most earnest cops often succumb to the temptations that are both plentiful and low risk. — Alan Zarembo, Newsweek, 4 Dec. 2000 They will pressure you, and you must try not to succumb. he finally succumbed and let his wife get rid of his dilapidated easy chair
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Recent Examples on the Web

But Bay Area residents must not succumb to the temptation to believe that homelessness is a problem that cannot be solved. Mercury News & East Bay Times Editorial Boards, The Mercury News, "Editorial: Don’t give up on efforts to house the homeless," 4 June 2019 The jeans maker and seller of other urban-style clothes sought chapter 11 protection in mid-2017, succumbing to the same industry woes that have plagued many of its peers—namely, the consumer shift to online shopping and expensive store leases. Lillian Rizzo, WSJ, "True Religion Interim CEO Sees Future in More Stores, Global Expansion," 6 Nov. 2018 England has been eliminated from six major tournaments – three World Cups and three European Championships – on penalty kicks, succumbing in its previous five straight shootouts on the way. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "England ends penalty kick curse to beat Colombia, reach World Cup quarterfinals," 3 July 2018 The death toll in one of Cuba’s worst-ever aviation disasters has risen to 111 after one of the survivors succumbed to her injuries. Eli Meixler, Time, "One of the Survivors of the Cuban Plane Crash Has Passed Away, Raising the Death Toll to 111," 22 May 2018 About 1 in every 41 American men will die of prostate cancer with around 30,000 men succumbing to it each year in our country. Dr. Jared Heiner, idahostatesman, "New treatment offers relief to prostate cancer patients | Idaho Statesman," 19 Feb. 2018 Sansa is much too smart—and has survived far too much—to succumb to such a childish, gendered trope. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Game of Thrones Rivalry Between Sansa & Daenerys Is Gendered and Regressive," 16 Apr. 2019 Doubt is arguably one of the most human traits of all, and Deaver’s deeply held skepticism gives Castle Rock a center as other characters begin to succumb to darkness. Karen Han, Vox, "Hulu’s Castle Rock gets what makes Stephen King so scary," 20 July 2018 Even ten years ago, headlines trumpeted that boys were failing: falling behind girls in academic achievement, suffering from more mental illness, succumbing to drug abuse, and getting into more trouble. Kate Stone Lombardi, Good Housekeeping, "Studies Show Boys Who Are Close to Their Mothers Do Better, Physically and Psychologically," 30 Apr. 2019

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

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for succumb

French & Latin; French succomber, from Latin succumbere, from sub- + -cumbere to lie down; akin to Latin cubare to lie

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Statistics for succumb

Last Updated

7 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for succumb

The first known use of succumb was in 1604

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More Definitions for succumb

succumb

verb

English Language Learners Definition of succumb

somewhat formal
: to stop trying to resist something
: to die

succumb

verb
suc·​cumb | \ sə-ˈkəm How to pronounce succumb (audio) \
succumbed; succumbing

Kids Definition of succumb

1 : to yield to force or pressure Don't succumb to temptation.

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More from Merriam-Webster on succumb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with succumb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for succumb

Spanish Central: Translation of succumb

Nglish: Translation of succumb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of succumb for Arabic Speakers

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