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 Younger people are less likely to succumb to the disease, and deaths in the United States have been decreasing significantly for the past two months while cases plateaued in the same period. Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY, "More than 500,000 people worldwide have now died from the coronavirus," 28 June 2020 An 84-year-old Marion County woman became the latest patient to succumb to COVID-19, bringing the toll to 188, health officials said. oregonlive, "Coronavirus in Oregon: New cases top 200 for second time this week; Multnomah County sees record infections as it reopens," 19 June 2020 In 1918, India’s colonial administrators noted that the poor and malnourished were much more likely to succumb to flu than the more affluent. Eva Kassens-noor, The Conversation, "5 ways the world is better off dealing with a pandemic now than in 1918," 19 June 2020 Then both of them are bitten by zombies and succumb to the zombie outbreak. Rachel Paige, refinery29.com, "Let Us Walk You Through The Bonkers Ending Of Netflix’s Reality Z," 11 June 2020 Three Marion County men — ages 60, 70 and 96 — as well as a 78-year-old Multnomah County man and 96-year-old Clackamas County man were the latest people to succumb to the illness, health officials said. oregonlive, "Coronavirus in Oregon: 5 new deaths as known cases near 5,000, health officials say," 10 June 2020 Jackson, the subject of an excellent recent biography by Ruth Franklin, is much too interesting to succumb to the dull, sentimental moralizing of mainstream moviemaking. Mark Olsenstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Indie Focus: Elisabeth Moss invokes ‘Shirley’ to fiery life," 5 June 2020 If temperatures and humidity rise high enough, even a robustly healthy person sitting still in the shade with access to water will succumb to the heat. Andrea Thompson, Scientific American, "Heat and Humidity Are Already Reaching the Limits of Human Tolerance," 8 May 2020 But the lay preacher, known as this city’s dean of civil rights and founder of the Institute for Non-Violence in Dallas, has preached one rule in responding to police aggression: never succumb to personal rage. Miles Moffeit, Dallas News, "Dallas civil rights leader Peter Johnson appeals for peaceful response to police violence, racism," 30 May 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

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Succumb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/succumb. Accessed 14 Jul. 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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More from Merriam-Webster on succumb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for succumb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with succumb

Spanish Central: Translation of succumb

Nglish: Translation of succumb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of succumb for Arabic Speakers

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