Definition of succeed in English:



  • 1no object Achieve the desired aim or result.

    ‘he succeeded in winning a pardon’
    ‘a mission which could not possibly succeed’
    • ‘Employees should know exactly what is expected of them and the extent to which they have succeeded in achieving specific targets already set by management, he said.’
    • ‘I'll leave it to others to decide whether he succeeded in achieving that goal.’
    • ‘The home went up in flames and the father tried to break down the door to get the children out and eventually succeeded in pulling one side of the caravan away.’
    • ‘Although profoundly deaf himself, he had eventually succeeded in gaining places at Wadham College and then the Royal Northern College of Music.’
    • ‘Also, with my local youth council in Monifieth, we have succeeded in achieving the renovation of a dirty footpath that is a main part of many people's journey from home to school.’
    • ‘It is the path that was first taught more than 2,500 years ago by the Buddha Shakyamuni, who succeeded in achieving complete realization of perfect wisdom and compassion.’
    • ‘It has also succeeded in achieving the proclaimed mission of poverty reduction through community-based organisation of poor Kerala women.’
    • ‘A son, a wife, a father, has succeeded in achieving a dream after years of hard work, of financial and personal sacrifice.’
    • ‘A number of farmers caught in this trap took legal action, and eventually succeeded in gaining redress.’
    • ‘Few companies have succeeded in achieving substantial workflows across their supply chains.’
    • ‘He tried hard and eventually succeeded in cracking the UK market and has since gone on to play further overseas, in Europe, the US and Canada.’
    • ‘A group of 20 local blocklayers, plumbers and electricians succeeded in achieving their Safe Pass card in the FAS certified programme.’
    • ‘The camp eventually succeeded in training more than five hundred special operatives.’
    • ‘Kildare were in the doldrums but he quickly rescued them and they almost succeeded in achieving All-Ireland glory.’
    • ‘However, the government has never succeeded in achieving this.’
    • ‘If Carlyle eventually succeeded in avoiding these consequences, it was only by sacrificing most of what was best in the work of his youth.’
    • ‘Technical problems succeeded in achieving something the general public could not: temporarily disabling the march of bureaucracy.’
    • ‘The Brazilians have succeeded in achieving an increase in the production of farmed shrimp.’
    • ‘The committees appear to have succeeded in achieving that elusive consensus on what needs to be done to dig Scottish education out of the Higher Still morass.’
    • ‘Clarity, certainty, consistency and reliability of outcomes are what the team aimed for, and succeeded in achieving.’
    triumph, be victorious, achieve success, be successful, be a success, do well, make good, prosper, flourish, thrive, advance
    be successful, turn out well, work, work out, go as planned, get results, be effective, be profitable
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    1. 1.1 Attain fame, wealth, or social status.
      ‘the management and business skills you need to succeed’
      • ‘When competition becomes the dominant model for social reward, only a few can succeed, whereas the rest grow embittered.’
      • ‘They marry, both ultimately succeeding in the harsher social and financial climate of the New World.’
      • ‘Businessmen will succeed and there will be a subsequent rise in wealth and reputation.’
      • ‘Everyone wants their child to succeed, but too many parents focus on future fame and riches.’
      • ‘His talent will give him the fame he needs to succeed.’
  • 2with object Take over a throne, office, or other position from.

    ‘he would succeed Hawke as Prime Minister’
    • ‘He was succeeded by Jim Adams who held the position for many years.’
    • ‘It implies that if you've ever criticised the president's war conduct, you cannot succeed him in office.’
    • ‘He succeeded the first president to ever resign from office.’
    • ‘His 18-year-old niece, Victoria, succeeded him to the throne.’
    • ‘Parke, previously president and chief operating officer, succeeds company founder Allen Mebane, who will remain as chairman.’
    • ‘His eldest son Harley eventually succeeded him in both positions.’
    • ‘Other coaches have begun trying to position themselves to succeed him, a sure sign Asbury is in trouble.’
    • ‘The ecclesiastical reformers' objections to a son succeeding his father in the priestly office meant they were acutely conscious of the need to provide alternatives to the home as places of education.’
    • ‘He succeeded Mr Scaife in that position when he moved to be chief executive of the strategic health authority in January 2003.’
    • ‘By the time he succeeded his father to the throne in Turnovo, the state had become a pale shadow of its powerful past.’
    • ‘Birendra's brother, Gyanendra, who succeeded him on the throne, had no such reservations.’
    • ‘In 1720 he succeeded Flamsteed as Astronomer Royal, a position he was to hold for 21 years despite being 64 years old when appointed.’
    • ‘He succeeded his father to the throne in the capital - then Turnovo - in 1371.’
    • ‘The new first minister, Donald Dewar, died after one year in office, and was succeeded by Henry McLeish.’
    • ‘At the age of 42 Moores is ideally positioned to succeed Fletcher as England coach when the time comes.’
    • ‘King Sihamoni, 51, a former ballet dancer, ascended the throne Friday, succeeding his father who suddenly abdicated earlier this month.’
    • ‘Ten years after becoming king, Ferdinand was hounded from the throne, to be succeeded by his son, Boris III.’
    • ‘Whether Davis remains in office or one of the so-called major replacement candidates succeeds him, the attacks on the working people of California will intensify.’
    • ‘The rulers of the Chakri dynasty, who succeeded the kings of Ayyuthaya, assumed the throne name of Rama, a practice that continues to this day.’
    • ‘Individuals who serve as President of the Association shall not succeed themselves in office.’
    replace, take the place of, take over from, come after, follow, supersede, supplant, displace, oust, remove, unseat, usurp
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    1. 2.1no object Become the new rightful holder of an office, title, or property.
      ‘he succeeded to his father's kingdom’
      • ‘They had each succeeded to the title of Emperor of India as well as king, yet the Empire collapsed.’
      • ‘He killed the person Yu the Great had appointed and succeeded to his father's power, beginning the hereditary system of monarchy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Her brother Bartholomew succeeded to his father's copyhold when their mother died, in 1599.’
      • ‘The reality is for more than 40 years no Democrat has succeeded to the White House who hasn't been from the South.’
      • ‘His other son, Richard, who succeeded to the title following his death, lives in London.’
      • ‘This system was subverted by his brother John when he succeeded to the throne in 1199, and extraordinarily repressive measures were set in motion to extort money from them.’
      • ‘To make matters worse at the time he succeeded to the ownership of Barra, the Government reduced the duty on imported barilla, knocking out the prop which kept the kelping industry afloat.’
      • ‘When he died, it went in turn to the third son, George, who founded the family of the Sinclairs of Mey which succeeded to the earldom in 1789.’
      • ‘The position was that in this State you had probate duty which was levied on the estate, you had succession duty which was levied on those who succeeded to property, not by way of the will.’
      • ‘Lee succeeded to the presidency and remained in office for 12 years.’
      • ‘The President reminisced with his audience about how there had been no CIA when he had succeeded to the presidency in 1945.’
      • ‘It may also be the case that, with a few possible exceptions, no one with the intellectual abilities of Henry George succeeded to the leadership of the movement.’
      • ‘Inheritance typically involved the eldest son of a man's first wife, who succeeded to his office and property.’
      • ‘Harold succeeded to his father's titles in 1053, becoming the most powerful man in England.’
      • ‘He then formally succeeded to Patterson's post, although there had been speculation that a person outside the NSC would be assigned to the position.’
      • ‘The Duke, who only succeeded to the title after his father's death in October, had a history of ill heath.’
      • ‘Shortly after returning from his trip down the Nile, Rayleigh's father died and Strutt, as he had been up to that time, succeeded to the title becoming the third Baron Rayleigh.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He was the son of an Irish viscount and succeeded to the title and the Ulster estates at the age of 6.’
      inherit, accede to, assume, take over, come into, acquire, attain, be elevated to
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    2. 2.2 Come after and take the place of.
      ‘her embarrassment was succeeded by fear’
      • ‘The danger of war passed, to be succeeded by one yet more frightening: cholera, spreading from the east.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As the acuteness of this remorse began to die away, it was succeeded by a sense of joy.’
      follow, come after, follow after
      subsequent, successive, following, ensuing, later, future, next, coming
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  • nothing succeeds like success

    • proverb Success leads to opportunities for further and greater successes.

      • ‘Be it luck or tactics, in the end 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.’
      • ‘Or put it down to the fact that in Hollywood nothing succeeds like success.’
      • ‘Yes, political consulting is a business, and nothing succeeds like success.’
      • ‘After all, if it works, and nothing succeeds like success, go with the flow.’
      • ‘At the end of the day, nothing succeeds like success.’
      • ‘You know that saying, nothing succeeds like success?’
      • ‘But in America, nothing succeeds like success.’
      • ‘Well, its an old saying and a true one: nothing succeeds like success.’
      • ‘She is a pioneer in the business, she put out a great magazine, and nothing succeeds like success.’


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