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

Fallout is a franchise defined by its lawlessness: in the wasteland, nothing can stop denizens from succumbing to their worst tendencies. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "Bethesda permanently bans Fallout 76 players after homophobic in-game assault," 30 Nov. 2018 Soon, Dash began succumbing to its soporific rhythm. Laura Dannen Redman, Condé Nast Traveler, "18 Summers: The Ultimate Guide to Not Wasting a Single Vacation With Your Kids," 20 July 2018 Incredibles 2 manages to utilize the same basic premise of the outdated '80s comedy — dad becomes primary caregiver to the children after mom gets a job opportunit y — without succumbing to the same fate. Ciara Wardlow, The Hollywood Reporter, "How 'Incredibles 2' Keeps the 'Mr. Mom' Concept Fresh for 2018," 18 June 2018 Because cheating on this scale isn't about succumbing to temptation or reacting to neglect. Dan Savage, Chicago Reader, "A serial adulterer makes a case for himself, and gets reamed," 25 Apr. 2018 The 16-year-old victim later succumbed to his injuries. Bradford Betz, Fox News, "Gunfire near Bay Area high school leaves 1 teen dead, another wounded, police say," 25 Aug. 2018 Its defense is aggressive in terms of getting in front of shot-takers, and aside from succumbing to a desperate Germany, the Swedes have been lights out to their opposition. Avi Creditor, SI.com, "World Cup Quarterfinal Power Rankings: Field Narrows to Powers, Surprises," 4 July 2018 Both serve the same function: To keep all of that down from succumbing to gravity and heading to your waist and wrists, leaving your upper body freezing. Brent Rose, Popular Mechanics, "The Depuffening of the Down Jacket," 24 Jan. 2018 Lukaku then converted assists from Kevin De Bruyne and captain Eden Hazard to secure victory in this Group G clash, with the Central Americans succumbing to a defeat in their first-ever match at the finals. Andy Scott, chicagotribune.com, "Lukaku scores twice as Belgium prove too strong for Panama," 18 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

6 Dec 2018

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

: 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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