Definition of succession in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /səkˈsɛʃ(ə)n/


1A number of people or things of a similar kind following one after the other: she had been secretary to a succession of board directors
More example sentences
  • The game came alive in the 20th minute when Bury, following a succession of a five-metre scrums, were eventually awarded a penalty try, the conversion a formality.
  • Following a succession of attacks, a large breakaway group moved clear on the first of three laps and opened up a decisive lead over the rest.
  • The city has struggled following a succession of high-profile business closures and job losses.
sequence, series, progression, course, chain, cycle, round, string, train, line, line-up, run, continuation, flow, stream;
1.1 Geology A group of strata representing a single chronological sequence: the Cretaceous succession
More example sentences
  • Deep drilling in the southern Tyrrhenian Sea floor revealed a continental and oceanic substratum covered by upper Miocene and younger sedimentary successions.
  • At this location, a succession of chloritized volcaniclastic sedimentary rocks are over-thrust by a massive undeformed quartz diorite.
  • Second, there are many stratigraphical and palaeontological similarities in the Palaeogene successions of the Hampshire and London basins.
2 [mass noun] The action or process of inheriting a title, office, property, etc. the new king was already elderly at the time of his succession
More example sentences
  • As a fruit of the Pombaline vision, Goa is today the only State in India to have a uniform civil code, which ensures women equal rights of succession, property and inheritance.
  • I think he was confusing the constitutional succession in office with who was in charge.
  • The Lib Dem policy would prove even more progressive than the mayor's plans, with partnerships that were binding in matters of inheritance, pensions and succession of tenancy.
accession, elevation;
inheritance of, assumption of
2.1The right or sequence of inheriting a position, title, etc. the succession to the Crown was disputed
More example sentences
  • Succession to the throne is based at present on the principle of male primogeniture, embodied in the Salic law, according to which male heirs take precedence and the right of succession belongs to the eldest son.
  • William's own ambitions centred on preserving his wife's and his own right of succession to the throne, and in securing England's participation in the continental war.
  • If he does not submit his request to Parliament or if approval is not granted, then the royal loses his right of succession to the throne.
line of descent, line, descent, ancestral line, blood line, ancestry, dynasty, lineage, genealogy, heritage, pedigree, extraction, derivation, stock, strain, background
2.2 Ecology The process by which a plant or animal community successively gives way to another until a stable climax is reached. Compare with sere2.
Example sentences
  • They represent communities early in plant succession, which can take many centuries in frigid ecosystems.
  • Cattle or sheep grazing is known to have a selective effect on the composition of plant communities in early succession.
  • Diversity increases as succession continues, only leveling off when succession has reached its final stage.



in quick (or rapid) succession

Following one another at short intervals: the area suffered two floods in quick succession
More example sentences
  • Numerous other hit songs were to follow in rapid succession.
  • This was followed in rapid succession by a letter informing me that the card had been cancelled due to non-payment.
  • The acts followed in quick succession, mostly performing two or three songs each.

in succession

Following one after the other without interruption: she won the race for the second year in succession
More example sentences
  • For the second year in succession, Carlisle are staring into the abyss of relegation from the Football League.
  • It is no coincidence that for the second Olympics in succession, cycling and sailing have won a good collection of golds.
  • Then, for the second tournament in succession, it was the fitness of another player that determined his fate.
one after the other, in a row, consecutively, one behind the other, successively, in sequence;
running, straight, solid, uninterrupted
informal on the trot

in succession to

Inheriting or elected to the place of: he was elevated to the Lords in succession to his father
More example sentences
  • He was elected to the position, in succession to Cllr.
  • He is well known on the local circuits and in Ballina where his speciality was coverage of the Town Council on which he honed the journalistic talents that won him the prestigious editorial chair in succession to myself and Terry.
  • He added: ‘I have been here full-time for three and a half years as resident judge, in succession to Judge Tucker.’

settle the succession

Determine who shall succeed someone: the act settled the succession on the king’s granddaughter
More example sentences
  • He settled the succession on his nephew, Princess Fei-ti's son.
  • The Italian states were deeply affected by the European wars that were fought to settle the succession of the crowns of Spain, Poland, and Austria.
  • When Bishop Rudd delivered a sermon at court in March 1596 which urged the Queen to settle the succession because of the likely imminence of her death, he was briefly confined for his presumption.



Pronunciation: /səkˈsɛʃən(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • I challenged him specifically on the question of biostratigraphy and the successional order of appearance of the various forms of life in the fossil record.
  • Make successional sowings of beetroot, carrots, lettuce, radish and turnips.
  • However, our sampling approach did allow us to assess how the natural distribution of successional environments impacted spatial variation in fish assemblages among drainages.


Middle English (denoting legal transmission of an estate or the throne to another, also in the sense 'successors, heirs'): from Old French, or from Latin successio(n-), from the verb succedere (see succeed).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: suc|ces¦sion

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.