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 Levine is urging colleagues to not succumb to lobbying by advocates for firearms. Patrick Mcgreevy, Los Angeles Times, "Alarmed by recent mass shootings, California lawmakers push to tax guns and ammo," 6 Apr. 2021 With the advent of the now ubiquitous automobile, the hills and valleys on the edges of our paradise began to succumb to the post-World War II pattern of building that was convenient to the now suburban commuter. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Opinion: Your Say on proposal to eliminate single-family home zoning," 2 Apr. 2021 Last week, Brazilian international Ivana Fuso became the latest to succumb to a training-ground injury which has put her out for the season and left her struggling to be fit for the Olympic Games. Asif Burhan, Forbes, "Casey Stoney Insists Manchester United “Don’t Do Draws” Going Into Crucial Match," 18 Mar. 2021 Nearly one in four Italians is over 65, an age group much more likely to succumb to the disease. Margherita Stancati, WSJ, "Why Are So Many Italians Dying of Covid-19?," 21 Dec. 2020 Death rates have come down since the spring because of better medical care and because young people, who are less likely to succumb, now make up the majority of those infected. Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY, "Cold weather, holiday visitors and pandemic fatigue: Experts warn COVID will get much worse this winter," 10 Nov. 2020 Metro Health data from the last month also found that men were less likely to get tested for the virus but more likely to succumb to it. Lauren Caruba, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio officials report 400+ new coronavirus cases as positivity rate rises for third straight week," 9 Nov. 2020 Without in-person schooling and organized sports — which provide regular meals and exposure to positive role models — teens are more likely to succumb to the allure of street life, police say. Liz Sawyer, Star Tribune, "Increase in carjackings and robberies roils Twin Cities," 2 Nov. 2020 And her greatest ache came from watching her talented, conscientious husband partially succumb to his illnesses. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Gordon Monson: Meet a man and his family who were rescued by the kindness of Utah Jazz fans," 5 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for succumb

Time Traveler

The first known use of succumb was in 1604

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Statistics for succumb

Last Updated

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Succumb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/succumb. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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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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Comments on succumb

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