Definition of succumb
- succumb to temptation
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
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
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.
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.
First Known Use: 1604See Words from the same year
: to stop trying to resist something
: to die
What made you want to look up succumb? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Confusing Words—A Quiz