Definition of succeed in English:



  • 1[no object] Achieve the desired aim or result:

    ‘he succeeded in winning a pardon’
    ‘a mission which could not possibly succeed’
    • ‘Kildare were in the doldrums but he quickly rescued them and they almost succeeded in achieving All-Ireland glory.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A number of farmers caught in this trap took legal action, and eventually succeeded in gaining redress.’
    • ‘A group of 20 local blocklayers, plumbers and electricians succeeded in achieving their Safe Pass card in the FAS certified programme.’
    • ‘The Brazilians have succeeded in achieving an increase in the production of farmed shrimp.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘However, the government has never succeeded in achieving this.’
    • ‘Technical problems succeeded in achieving something the general public could not: temporarily disabling the march of bureaucracy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I'll leave it to others to decide whether he succeeded in achieving that goal.’
    • ‘Clarity, certainty, consistency and reliability of outcomes are what the team aimed for, and succeeded in achieving.’
    • ‘The camp eventually succeeded in training more than five hundred special operatives.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Although profoundly deaf himself, he had eventually succeeded in gaining places at Wadham College and then the Royal Northern College of Music.’
    • ‘Few companies have succeeded in achieving substantial workflows across their supply chains.’
    • ‘If Carlyle eventually succeeded in avoiding these consequences, it was only by sacrificing most of what was best in the work of his youth.’
    be successful, turn out well, work, work out, go as planned, get results, be effective, be profitable
    triumph, be victorious, achieve success, be successful, be a success, do well, make good, prosper, flourish, thrive, advance
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    1. 1.1 Attain fame, wealth, or social status:
      ‘the management and business skills you need to succeed’
      • ‘Businessmen will succeed and there will be a subsequent rise in wealth and reputation.’
      • ‘When competition becomes the dominant model for social reward, only a few can succeed, whereas the rest grow embittered.’
      • ‘His talent will give him the fame he needs to succeed.’
      • ‘They marry, both ultimately succeeding in the harsher social and financial climate of the New World.’
      • ‘Everyone wants their child to succeed, but too many parents focus on future fame and riches.’
  • 2[with object] Take over a throne, office, or other position from:

    ‘he would succeed Hawke as Prime Minister’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was succeeded by Jim Adams who held the position for many years.’
    • ‘He succeeded the first president to ever resign from office.’
    • ‘His eldest son Harley eventually succeeded him in both positions.’
    • ‘By the time he succeeded his father to the throne in Turnovo, the state had become a pale shadow of its powerful past.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Other coaches have begun trying to position themselves to succeed him, a sure sign Asbury is in trouble.’
    • ‘Birendra's brother, Gyanendra, who succeeded him on the throne, had no such reservations.’
    • ‘He succeeded Mr Scaife in that position when he moved to be chief executive of the strategic health authority in January 2003.’
    • ‘His 18-year-old niece, Victoria, succeeded him to the throne.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The new first minister, Donald Dewar, died after one year in office, and was succeeded by Henry McLeish.’
    • ‘Ten years after becoming king, Ferdinand was hounded from the throne, to be succeeded by his son, Boris III.’
    • ‘Parke, previously president and chief operating officer, succeeds company founder Allen Mebane, who will remain as chairman.’
    • ‘It implies that if you've ever criticised the president's war conduct, you cannot succeed him in office.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘King Sihamoni, 51, a former ballet dancer, ascended the throne Friday, succeeding his father who suddenly abdicated earlier this month.’
    • ‘Individuals who serve as President of the Association shall not succeed themselves in office.’
    • ‘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, come after, follow, supersede, supplant, displace, oust, remove, unseat, usurp
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    1. 2.1[no object] Become the new rightful holder of an office, title, or property:
      ‘he succeeded to his father's kingdom’
      • ‘He was the son of an Irish viscount and succeeded to the title and the Ulster estates at the age of 6.’
      • ‘They had each succeeded to the title of Emperor of India as well as king, yet the Empire collapsed.’
      • ‘Harold succeeded to his father's titles in 1053, becoming the most powerful man in England.’
      • ‘The reality is for more than 40 years no Democrat has succeeded to the White House who hasn't been from the South.’
      • ‘He killed the person Yu the Great had appointed and succeeded to his father's power, beginning the hereditary system of monarchy.’
      • ‘The Duke, who only succeeded to the title after his father's death in October, had a history of ill heath.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Inheritance typically involved the eldest son of a man's first wife, who succeeded to his office and property.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The President reminisced with his audience about how there had been no CIA when he had succeeded to the presidency in 1945.’
      • ‘His other son, Richard, who succeeded to the title following his death, lives in London.’
      • ‘Her brother Bartholomew succeeded to his father's copyhold when their mother died, in 1599.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
      • ‘As the acuteness of this remorse began to die away, it was succeeded by a sense of joy.’
      • ‘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.’
      subsequent, successive, following, ensuing, later, future, next, coming
      follow, come after, follow after
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  • nothing succeeds like success

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

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But in America, nothing succeeds like success.’
      • ‘You know that saying, nothing succeeds like success?’
      • ‘At the end of the day, nothing succeeds like success.’
      • ‘She is a pioneer in the business, she put out a great magazine, and nothing succeeds like success.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Be it luck or tactics, in the end nothing succeeds like success.’
      • ‘Well, its an old saying and a true one: nothing succeeds like success.’


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