survive

verb
sur·​vive | \ sər-ˈvīv How to pronounce survive (audio) \
survived; surviving

Definition of survive

intransitive verb

1 : to remain alive or in existence : live on
2 : to continue to function or prosper

transitive verb

1 : to remain alive after the death of he is survived by his wife
2 : to continue to exist or live after survived the earthquake
3 : to continue to function or prosper despite : withstand they survived many hardships

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from survive

survivor \ sər-​ˈvī-​vər How to pronounce survivor (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for survive

Synonyms

ride (out), weather

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of survive in a Sentence

I don't see how any creature can survive under those conditions. bacteria that survive in extreme temperatures Only a few written records survive from those times. These ancient practices still survive in some regions. Some of the original bridges survive. Many businesses are struggling to survive in today's economy. Only his son survived him. She survived her husband by only a few years. He survived a political scandal and was elected to the state legislature. The company survived the recession.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will face the Canadian electorate in October—if his leadership survives that long. Michael Taube, WSJ, "Trouble for Justin Trudeau," 6 Mar. 2019 Eventually, in his speech, Sanders did get personal, a move reportedly encouraged by his advisors, and talked about growing up with family that had—and hadn’t—survived the Holocaust. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Who’s Afraid of the Bernie Bros?," 4 Mar. 2019 The idea of the ERA has survived multiple attempts to kill it dead, the most memorable of which was a national campaign led by the highly effective political organizer and anti-feminist lawyer Phyllis Schlafly, in the 1970s. Chloe Angyal, Marie Claire, "Kamala Harris Says It’s Time To Make Women Full Citizens At Last," 27 Feb. 2019 The duo has kept their romance low-key since then, but they've been spotted together around the world (from Spain, to Boston, to Mexico) and even survived breakup rumors. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Who Is Rihanna's Boyfriend, Hassan Jameel?," 22 Feb. 2019 Indeed, of the approximately 28 surviving monarchies around the world, five of them are held by descendants of Victoria. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Queen Victoria's Descendants Still Reign Over Europe," 17 Feb. 2019 But when the colonists crash-land on a planet named Pax, their focus becomes surviving among the planet’s hostile plant-life. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Our favorite science fiction and fantasy books of 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 The bacteria make spores which help them survive; and, under certain conditions, the spores can grow and make one of the most lethal toxins known, the CDC explains. Korin Miller, SELF, "Del Monte Recalls Canned Corn Over Concerns It Could Cause ‘Life-Threatening Illness'," 14 Dec. 2018 For any hydrogen to survive without getting incorporated into larger atomic nuclei, the scientists found a different fundamental constant would have to be smaller. Charles Q. Choi, Space.com, "Why Alternate Universes Might Also Host Life Around their Stars," 26 Sep. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of survive

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for survive

Middle English, to outlive, from Anglo-French survivre, from Latin supervivere, from super- + vivere to live — more at quick entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about survive

Statistics for survive

Last Updated

11 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for survive

The first known use of survive was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for survive

survive

verb

English Language Learners Definition of survive

: to remain alive : to continue to live
: to continue to exist
: to remain alive after the death of (someone)

survive

verb
sur·​vive | \ sər-ˈvīv How to pronounce survive (audio) \
survived; surviving

Kids Definition of survive

1 : to remain alive : continue to exist No creature can survive without water. The tradition survives to this day.
2 : to live or exist longer than or past the end of The house survived the flood.

Other Words from survive

survivor \ sər-​ˈvī-​vər \ noun

survive

verb
sur·​vive | \ sər-ˈvīv How to pronounce survive (audio) \
survived; surviving

Medical Definition of survive

intransitive verb

: to remain alive or in existence : live on

transitive verb

1 : to remain alive after the death of his son survived him
2 : to continue to exist or live after survived the stroke

Other Words from survive

survival \ -​ˈvī-​vəl How to pronounce survival (audio) \ noun
survivor \ -​ˈvī-​vər How to pronounce survivor (audio) \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on survive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with survive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for survive

Spanish Central: Translation of survive

Nglish: Translation of survive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of survive for Arabic Speakers

Comments on survive

What made you want to look up survive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the way words of a language are spelled

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!