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

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 English 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 decades 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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web Don’t succumb to flattery or let outside interest become a distraction. Jason Hennessey, Forbes, 12 July 2022 Questions like these don’t succumb to data or statistics but must be teased out, workshopped, read aloud like poetry. Daniel Alarcón, The New Yorker, 8 June 2022 Jupiter is the first and only animal to succumb to COVID-19 at the facility, according to the Columbus Zoo. Cole Behrens, USA TODAY, 30 June 2022 Jupiter, who died on June 26 at the facility, is the first animal to succumb to the virus at the zoo, officials said in a Facebook post. Anna Lazarus Caplan, PEOPLE.com, 30 June 2022 Jupiter passed away on Sunday and is the first animal at the Columbus Zoo to succumb to COVID-19, the zoo said. Byjon Haworth, ABC News, 30 June 2022 Pets may succumb to stress from a variety of causes, including being left at home alone, loud noises, travel, change in routine, social interactions, and so on. The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 May 2022 Despite our best efforts, some patients may ultimately succumb to COVID. Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, 29 Apr. 2022 If a proposal near the 9th appears too good to be true, do test the waters, but don’t succumb to grave doubts either. Katharine Merlin, Town & Country, 1 July 2022 See More

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.

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

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The first known use of succumb was in 1604

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Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Succumb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/succumb. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for succumb

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on succumb

Nglish: Translation of succumb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of succumb for Arabic Speakers

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