Definition of succumb
- succumb to temptation
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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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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
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