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

Many surface-level parking lots have succumbed to development in recent years, while the ride-share industry continues to pour extra vehicles onto streets. New York Times, "Private Parking Goes Deluxe," 13 Sep. 2019 Greg hadn’t clinically succumbed, but the oxygen supply had been cut to his heart by a sudden blockage of his main artery, aptly nicknamed the widow maker. Diane Bellcolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: TSA to the rescue: Agents in Minneapolis save life of Chula Vista man," 23 Aug. 2019 In December, a homeless advocate reported finding a woman named Lillian Hilman frozen outside the Georgia-Pacific Tower; days earlier, a man had succumbed to hypothermia near a downtown MARTA station. Brian Goldstone, The New Republic, "The New American Homeless," 21 Aug. 2019 Many others before him have succumbed to such stresses. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "VG Siddhartha’s death puts the spotlight on a serious crisis among Indian entrepreneurs," 1 Aug. 2019 The land is redolent in blame and rage and a sense that our defining principles have succumbed to myth. Jeffrey Fleishman, latimes.com, "Why Paul Simon’s ‘American Tune’ is the anthem for our troubled nation. Again," 4 July 2019 Now the farmers are leaving or dying but the mass of men – from baristas at Starbucks in Concord to worker bees in Silicon Valley – have succumbed to the Faustian Bargain, putting even lemmings jumping off cliffs to shame. Hasan Zillur Rahim, The Mercury News, "Opinion: Thoreau looms large on Independence Day," 3 July 2019 Arnold said one neighbor clung to a tree during Dorian and succumbed to flood waters that surged through the low-lying neighborhood. Danica Coto, Anchorage Daily News, "Hurricane survivors struggle to start new life in Bahamas," 10 Sep. 2019 The Guru did not succumb to the physical and mental pressures and sacrificed himself for righteousness on 30 May 1606. Sondeep Sankar, Quartz India, "In photos: A glorious history of Sikhism," 3 Sep. 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

11 Oct 2019

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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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