succumb

verb
suc·​cumb | \ sə-ˈkəm \
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

That's no excuse, and doctors shouldn't succumb to that. Ryan D'agostino, Esquire, "The Drugging of the American Boy," 27 Mar. 2014 Image: Paramount Pictures Bumblebee also succumbs to its franchise DNA during its third-act climax. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Bumblebee proves Transformers movies can actually be resonant and emotional," 20 Dec. 2018 In the play, the poor guy succumbs to prophecy — fated to be killed by somebody already dead. Gary Thompson, Philly.com, "Think these movies are too gory? The Greek myths they're based on are worse," 12 July 2018 And Fisher neither wilts under the camera’s scrutiny nor succumbs to the temptation to stare it down. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Review: Bo Burnham's 'Eighth Grade' is a beautifully honest portrait of adolescent girlhood," 11 July 2018 As the world becomes more nebulous, the census-takers succumb to political pressure, faking information missing from their surveys. The Economist, "China’s statistics are bad. Many criticisms of them are worse," 7 July 2018 Despite its occasionally melodramatic and contrived plot elements, the screenplay co-written by Vranik and Ivan Szabo never succumbs to bathos. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Citizen': Film Review," 5 July 2018 Special squashes such as Potimarron or Honey Roaster succumb early to the toxic bite of squash bug nymphs in my garden. Margaret Lauterbach, idahostatesman, "Consider all insect control measures carefully as earwigs, squash bugs move in," 22 June 2018 The track succumbs to its own weight about halfway through, and morphs into a cloudy, psychedelic instrumental that drifts off in its final moments into electronic twinkles and wurrs. Mackenzie Cummings-grady, Billboard, "Gorillaz Release Slow-Burning Track 'Fire Flies': Listen," 14 June 2018

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

1 Feb 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 \
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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