Definition of succeed in English:

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Pronunciation: /səkˈsēd/


1 [no object] Achieve the desired aim or result: a mission which could not possibly succeed he succeeded in winning a pardon
More example sentences
  • A group of 20 local blocklayers, plumbers and electricians succeeded in achieving their Safe Pass card in the FAS certified programme.
  • Technical problems succeeded in achieving something the general public could not: temporarily disabling the march of bureaucracy.
  • It has also succeeded in achieving the proclaimed mission of poverty reduction through community-based organisation of poor Kerala women.
triumph, achieve success, be successful, do well, flourish, thrive
informal make it, make the grade, make a name for oneself
be successful, turn out well, work (out), be effective
informal come off, pay off
2 [with object] Take over a throne, inheritance, office, or other position from: he would succeed Hawke as prime minister
More example sentences
  • His 18-year-old niece, Victoria, succeeded him to the throne.
  • Ten years after becoming king, Ferdinand was hounded from the throne, to be succeeded by his son, Boris III.
  • At the age of 42 Moores is ideally positioned to succeed Fletcher as England coach when the time comes.
replace, take the place of, take over from, follow, supersede
informal step into someone's shoes
2.1 [no object] Become the new rightful holder of an inheritance, office, title, or property: he succeeded to his father’s kingdom
More example sentences
  • Inheritance typically involved the eldest son of a man's first wife, who succeeded to his office and property.
  • When the duke's father died in 1950 and he succeeded to the title, there was £7m in death duties to pay - a staggering sum for the time.
  • Sir Martin was born at his family's country seat, Kirkdale Manor, Helmsley, and succeeded to the title on the death of his father, in 1937.
inherit, assume, acquire, attain
formal accede to
2.2Come after and take the place of: her embarrassment was succeeded by fear
More example sentences
  • The danger of war passed, to be succeeded by one yet more frightening: cholera, spreading from the east.
  • As the acuteness of this remorse began to die away, it was succeeded by a sense of joy.
  • As discipline improved and the men began to feel no longer simply volunteers, but enlisted volunteers, the romantic devotion which they had felt was succeeded by a feeling of constraint and necessity.
follow, come after, follow after
subsequent, successive, following, ensuing, later, future, coming


nothing succeeds like success

proverb Success leads to opportunities for further and greater successes.
Example sentences
  • At the end of the day, nothing succeeds like success.
  • But in America, nothing succeeds like success.
  • In mitigation, this run of bad results was closely tied to a string of away fixtures that would test any team but it once again proved that if nothing succeeds like success then failure facilitates a firing.



( archaic)
Example sentences
  • A couple of our ancient and founding myths need to be revised in view of the redefined values which have been universally embraced throughout the world, especially among its succeeders.
  • The uncomfortable succeeders may perhaps have been virtuous individuals, but that is not the measure of their success.
  • With these two axes the students could be divided into bad learners, succeeders, unsuitables and unmotivated ones.


Late Middle English: from Old French succeder or Latin succedere 'come close after', from sub- 'close to' + cedere 'go'.

  • cede from early 16th century:

    Cede is from French céder or Latin cedere ‘to yield, give way, go’. Cedere is a rich source of English words including abscess (mid 16th century) ‘going away’ (of the infection when it bursts); access [Middle English] ‘go to’; ancestor (Middle English) someone who went ante ‘before’; antecedent (Late Middle English) from the same base as ancestor; cease (Middle English); concede (Late Middle English) to give way completely; decease (Middle English) ‘go away’; exceed (Late Middle English) to go beyond a boundary; intercede (late 16th century) go between; predecessor (Late Middle English) one who went away before; proceed (Late Middle English) to go forward; recede (Late Middle English) ‘go back’; and succeed (Late Middle English) ‘come close after’.

Words that rhyme with succeed

accede, bead, Bede, bleed, breed, cede, concede, creed, deed, Eid, exceed, feed, Gide, God speed, greed, he'd, heed, impede, interbreed, intercede, Jamshid, knead, lead, mead, Mede, meed, misdeed, mislead, misread, need, plead, proceed, read, rede, reed, Reid, retrocede, screed, secede, seed, she'd, speed, stampede, steed, supersede, Swede, tweed, weak-kneed, we'd, weed

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: suc·ceed

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