noun, often attributive
sur·​viv·​al | \ sər-ˈvī-vəl How to pronounce survival (audio) \

Definition of survival

1a : the act or fact of living or continuing longer than another person or thing
b : the continuation of life or existence problems of survival in arctic conditions
2 : one that survives

Examples of survival in a Sentence

The refugees depend on foreign aid for their survival. Small businesses are fighting for survival. the survival of an old folktale
Recent Examples on the Web Chris Kyriazis, an ecologist at UCLA and study co-author, tells NPR that even with an 80 percent reduction in gillnet deaths, the chances for the vaquita's survival still drop considerably. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 May 2022 The pandemic’s silver lining, say those interviewed, is that performing arts groups had to rally around one another in service of mutual survival. Los Angeles Times, 11 May 2022 Two child stars are set to team up for a survival drama hitting the Cannes Marché. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 May 2022 The shark survival tale will be released in theaters, as well as on digital and on-demand platforms on July 29, 2022. Brent Lang, Variety, 10 May 2022 For sci-fi fans, this survival adventure follows an asteroid miner (Anthony Ramos) who gets struck and lands on an alien planet. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, 10 May 2022 While some fans may be worried the comedian is considering retirement from the stage, Maron said the title is more about survival. John Benson, cleveland, 9 May 2022 Shalom dwindled for years, and with it their prospects for long-term survival. Jonathan M. Pitts, Baltimore Sun, 9 May 2022 One of Andrews' survival tips came in very hand handy as the female gator lunged yet again at Heim. Forrest Brown, CNN, 7 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'survival.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of survival

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for survival

Time Traveler

The first known use of survival was in 1598

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Dictionary Entries Near survival



survival instinct

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Statistics for survival

Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Survival.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for survival


sur·​viv·​al | \ sər-ˈvī-vəl How to pronounce survival (audio) \

Kids Definition of survival

: the continuation of life Our survival depended on finding water.


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