Definition of success in English:



  • 1The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

    ‘the president had some success in restoring confidence’
    • ‘The scheme is proving another success in the fight against anti-social behaviour.’
    • ‘But economic growth is key if we are to achieve success in these other policy areas.’
    • ‘He stresses that to achieve success in his sport you need to be a serious athlete, not a beach bum.’
    • ‘There are many countries, he argues, which have had success in enforcing outright bans.’
    • ‘I have been having mixed success in logging into my blog-editing area from work.’
    • ‘Platinum last month enjoyed some success in forcing Knox to change its board.’
    • ‘However, that is largely dependent on market conditions and on success in securing new orders.’
    • ‘Dawes has also had some success in his restless search for his true identity.’
    • ‘We do need to question what value we place on mission success in situations like this one.’
    • ‘In only a very few cases have victims reported success in making direct appeals to their captors for mercy.’
    • ‘The teams are only the third in the world to claim success in curing anyone using gene therapy.’
    • ‘It is a promising start but the key to success in publishing is infuriatingly elusive and enigmatic.’
    • ‘The media has pointed to the prime minister's success in leading the Labour party to a third term.’
    • ‘The success in tempting overseas companies and thousands of jobs to Scotland gave it kudos.’
    • ‘His success in enacting the North American Free Trade Area upset organised labour.’
    • ‘One of the greatest pleasures in life is success in smoothing over bumps with exes.’
    • ‘In my teens I lacked a lot of the self-confidence that would come with my success in running.’
    • ‘Scott puts his success in the deal down to promotional as well as design skill.’
    • ‘We have already had success in securing convictions for this sort of crime.’
    • ‘Health boards had advertised for salaried GPs, but had no great success in filling posts.’
    favourable outcome, successfulness, favourable result, successful outcome, positive result, victory, triumph
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    1. 1.1The attainment of fame, wealth, or social status.
      ‘the success of his play’
      • ‘There is always a fear, with child stars, that their fame and success will deny them a real childhood.’
      • ‘In every generation young people grow up surrounded by images of wealth and success.’
      • ‘Gerry is delighted with the success of the social and all the people who supported it.’
      • ‘Much of their success is owed to the band's unique fashion sense coupled with memorable tunes.’
      • ‘Marion was impatient for success and the wealth that she missed so desperately.’
      • ‘A glance at the big surprise hits of the last few years shows that many did not owe their success to the star system.’
      • ‘From stories he told me about her he owes much of his success to her loyalty and insight.’
      • ‘He is one of those rare individuals whose wealth and success no one begrudges.’
      • ‘Fame and success and all this stuff is not something that you can control.’
      • ‘What is plain is that wealth and success are no longer enough - now he wants fame as well.’
      • ‘We hear the sound of a band growing used to relative fame and success and dealing with it thoughtfully on record.’
      • ‘If the Sun Line is good and the Fate Line is bad, success and fame cannot be predicted.’
      • ‘The production's success owes much to its careful rendering of the three main characters.’
      • ‘There followed a couple of decades of stunning artistic and popular success.’
      • ‘Very rarely is the link between strength of character and economic and social success pointed out.’
      • ‘They owe some of their success to straightforward luck, coming at the right time with the right music.’
      • ‘I was gaining more success in America and a lot of people were looking at me.’
      • ‘Constantly we are told that success is based on career status and material gains.’
      • ‘Our interpretations and perceptions either defeat or enhance our social success.’
      • ‘There can be little doubt that his initial success owed a great deal to the support of his father.’
      prosperity, prosperousness, successfulness, affluence, wealth, riches, fortune, opulence, luxury, comfort, life of ease, the good life, milk and honey
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    2. 1.2[count noun]A person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains fame, wealth, etc.
      ‘to judge from league tables, the school is a success’
      ‘I must make a success of my business’
      • ‘She said he was worried about money and felt he had failed to make a success of his life.’
      • ‘The centre claims the ban has been a success and most people have followed the rules.’
      • ‘Already in his sixties it was his last attempt to make a success of the final years of his life.’
      • ‘No one knows why this small insect has been such a big success with Chinese people.’
      • ‘Nevertheless most of us achieve our competitive successes as part of a team.’
      • ‘She had a great love of young people and was delighted to hear of their successes and achievements.’
      • ‘People that share your successes and failures, joys and sorrows, highs and lows.’
      • ‘This was not a fragile plot that would have collapsed had the US government been able to achieve a few successes.’
      • ‘Condolences go to the proprietors of the shop who have worked so hard to make a success of it.’
      • ‘He said the exhibition had been a massive success with people queuing into the park grounds.’
      • ‘I think he has put in a lot of hours to try to make a success of things.’
      • ‘To cite individual failures in no way negates the many successes which have been achieved in the medical field.’
      • ‘You saw his enthusiasm, he's up for it, He really, really wants to make a success of it.’
      • ‘This very talented group have had numerous successes in festivals all over the country.’
      • ‘The opening game this past Saturday was a great success and many people had lots of fun.’
      • ‘The concert was a great success and attended by people from many parts of the country.’
      • ‘Hidden away in this week's news are pointers to what will actually make a success of an online business.’
      • ‘The citation pays tribute to her dedication and enthusiasm, and the notable successes she has achieved.’
      • ‘You are much more likely to make a success of something if you love what you are doing and have a passion for it.’
      • ‘The harder but surer way is to make a success of a business of your own and then sell it on to someone willing to pay millions.’
      star, superstar, celebrity, big name, household name, somebody, important person, vip, personality, public figure, dignitary, luminary, leading light
      triumph, bestseller, box-office success, sell-out, coup, master stroke
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  • 2archaic The good or bad outcome of an undertaking.

    ‘the good or ill success of their maritime enterprises’
    • ‘Those who have always good hope in the midst of misfortunes, and who are delighted with good luck, are suspected of being very pleased with the ill success of the affair, if they are not equally distressed by bad luck.’
    result, end result, consequence, net result, upshot, effect, after-effect, aftermath, conclusion, sequel, follow-up, issue, product, end product, end, development, offshoot, outgrowth, wake, denouement
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Mid 16th century: from Latin successus, from the verb succedere come close after (see succeed).