Definition of succumb
1 : to yield to superior strength or force or overpowering appeal or desire <succumb to temptation>
2 : to be brought to an end (as death) by the effect of destructive or disruptive forces
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>
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.
Origin and Etymology of succumb
French & Latin; French succomber, from Latin succumbere, from sub- + -cumbere to lie down; akin to Latin cubare to lie
First Known Use: 1604
Synonym Discussion of succumb
SUCCUMB Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of succumb for English Language Learners
: to stop trying to resist something
: to die
SUCCUMB Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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