Definition of survival in US English:



  • 1The state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances.

    ‘the animal's chances of survival were pretty low’
    figurative ‘he was fighting for his political survival’
    • ‘However, emerging data suggest that graft survival after lung transplantation is set to improve.’
    • ‘He sees this as a crucial move to ensure the longterm survival of democracy in Namibia.’
    • ‘The authors concluded that early surgical intervention is associated with improved long-term survival in patients with infectious endocarditis.’
    • ‘Increased rainfall may affect nest survival positively by influencing predation rates.’
    • ‘Median survival in these 11 patients was 26 months.’
    • ‘Right now, the city's economic survival depends on attracting and retaining businesses.’
    • ‘He had nothing to live for, but somehow the human instinct for survival overcame all the odds.’
    • ‘More chemotherapy improved overall survival compared with less chemotherapy, regardless of age.’
    • ‘He mentioned five cultural practices which are operating against the survival of our species.’
    • ‘Conversely, environmental variability that affects only adult survival is predicted to lead to an increase in reproductive output.’
    • ‘What this drug hopes to offer is a better life during treatment and a higher chance of survival overall.’
    • ‘After a heart attack the victim's chances of survival decrease by ten per cent with every passing minute.’
    • ‘This discrepancy at birth is evened out later on, as the girl child has better instincts of survival.’
    • ‘Authors have advocated its practice in addition to operative debridement in improving overall survival.’
    • ‘New laws now regulate the harvesting of herbs such as ginseng, to insure that species survival isn't threatened.’
    • ‘When governments realize that their own survival depends upon such agreements, then they will accept such agreements.’
    • ‘For instance, later germination may enhance seedling survival but decrease seed yield.’
    • ‘The third is to ensure the long-term survival of his regime.’
    • ‘Results have been highly encouraging so far, with disease-free survival in most patients.’
    • ‘All that's left to him is to develop his instincts for survival by making choices.’
    1. 1.1 An object or practice that has continued to exist from an earlier time.
      ‘his shorts were a survival from his army days’
      • ‘Krampus is one of those quirky survivals of a pagan tradition that preceded Christianity.’
      • ‘One method through which this was achieved was by re-positioning the religious ritual forms as archaic survivals of a Hindu past.’
      • ‘The Reformation settlement that established particular versions of Christianity as official religions in Britain has largely worn out, except for a few anachronistic survivals.’
      • ‘The indigenous past was largely abandoned and forgotten, save only a few cultural survivals in language and architecture.’
      • ‘Have they become mere quaint antiquarian survivals?’
      • ‘Throughout the 20th century, the West, to safeguard its own economic interests, supported the most backward, despotic and reactionary survivals from the past, helping to defeat all forms of secularism.’
      • ‘Other cultural survivals, such as a value systems, codes of etiquette, musical styles, and an Irish recipe for the national dish called ‘goat water’ stew, are considerably more problematic as cultural legacies.’
      • ‘The numerous survivals indicate that the image was made in this different format for popular consumption, and also that the notion of the nine stages was actively circulated during the Edo period.’
      • ‘It would be imprudent to write them off as doomed archaic survivals.’
      • ‘In many cases these rugs were created by women for their own use, and some of the most exuberant survivals are those worked in New England, particularly in New Hampshire, in the latter half of the nineteenth century.’


  • survival of the fittest

    • The continued existence of organisms which are best adapted to their environment, with the extinction of others, as a concept in the Darwinian theory of evolution.

      Compare with natural selection
      • ‘In this film, both human and animal experiences highlight the Darwinian concept of survival of the fittest.’
      • ‘One theme that remained constant was the idea of captives and oppressors and Darwinian ideas of the survival of the fittest.’
      • ‘Consider this - in Darwinian genetics, survival of the fittest also entails distrust of outsiders.’
      • ‘Opponents of the move say the cull is unnatural, and that killing one species because it is stronger than another runs against the Darwinian idea of the survival of the fittest.’
      • ‘In 1948, he suggested it might one day be possible to breed intelligent machines through the Darwinian approach of survival of the fittest.’
      • ‘The contestants who get voted off have simply been subject to the Darwinian process of survival of the fittest.’
      • ‘What is happening is an extreme form of Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest.’
      • ‘Since the very beginning of life, Darwin's theory of evolution, or survival of the fittest, has applied itself.’
      • ‘The welfare safety net has been removed to ensure that no one can opt-out of this Darwinian survival of the fittest.’
      • ‘It's an artificial-intelligence concept based on the idea of Darwinian survival of the fittest.’