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 After her disappearance, deputies said Rivera had experience navigating Lake Piru but even the most experienced swimmers could succumb to the lake's dangerous rip currents or get tangled up in debris. Zoe Christen Jones, CBS News, "Naya Rivera's family files wrongful death lawsuit over her drowning death," 18 Nov. 2020 State and local health officers are concerned that California communities will succumb to a national crush of cases that are overwhelming hospitals in some parts of the country. Erin Allday, SFChronicle.com, "Contra Costa, Santa Cruz counties move backward on California’s tiered reopening plan," 10 Nov. 2020 Clemente Flores, 56, who paints cars in Mexico City, watched his brother succumb to the deadly virus four months ago, leaving a wife and three children. Washington Post, "Day of the Dead celebrations to be muted when Mexicans need them more than ever," 29 Oct. 2020 China, the world’s biggest car market by sales, was the first to succumb to the Covid-19 pandemic and the first to see its auto industry return to growth this summer. William Boston, WSJ, "Global Auto Markets Begin to Emerge From Pandemic Slowdown," 16 Oct. 2020 The latest victim to succumb after contracting COVID-19 was a white man in his 70s who died Tuesday at Methodist Hospital. Peggy O’hare, ExpressNews.com, "177 new coronavirus cases, one more death reported in San Antonio," 30 Oct. 2020 The Indian red is the most lethal of all; in some parts of the world, up to 40 percent of stung victims succumb. Bill Heavey, Field & Stream, "The 12 Deadliest Insects in the World," 19 Oct. 2020 On Sunday, Austin Ekeler of the Los Angeles Chargers and Nick Chubb of the Cleveland Browns became the latest to succumb to the injury bug. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Fantasy football waiver wire: Chargers' Joshua Kelley steps into RB void," 6 Oct. 2020 Ultimately, Mitchell would succumb to the illness at age 42—before the first Spitfire entered service. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, "Why the Supermarine Spitfire Is Such a Badass Plane," 6 Sep. 2020

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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Last Updated

23 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Succumb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/succumb. Accessed 23 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for succumb

succumb

verb
How to pronounce succumb (audio)

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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