Synonym Chooser

How does the verb succumb differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of succumb are capitulate, defer, relent, submit, and yield. While all these words mean "to give way to someone or something that one can no longer resist," 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

When could capitulate be used to replace succumb?

Although the words capitulate and succumb have much in common, 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

In what contexts can defer take the place of succumb?

While in some cases nearly identical to succumb, 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

When is relent a more appropriate choice than succumb?

The words relent and succumb are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, relent implies a yielding through pity or mercy by one who holds the upper hand.

finally relented and let the children stay up late

Where would submit be a reasonable alternative to succumb?

The synonyms submit and succumb are sometimes interchangeable, but 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

When would yield be a good substitute for succumb?

The meanings of yield and succumb largely overlap; however, yield may apply to any sort or degree of giving way before force, argument, persuasion, or entreaty.

yields too easily in any argument


Thesaurus Entries Near succumb

Cite this Entry

“Succumb.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on succumb

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