Definition of survive in US English:



[no object]
  • 1Continue to live or exist, especially in spite of danger or hardship.

    ‘against all odds the child survived’
    • ‘They all needed to be pulling in the same direction in order to continue to survive.’
    • ‘There are moving accounts of people struggling to survive against the odds.’
    • ‘Remedial work has now been undertaken and a small population continues to survive there.’
    • ‘After Mr Russell was diagnosed he was given six months to live but survived for 15 years.’
    • ‘He was in a small settlement where outcasts lived and tried to survive.’
    • ‘She died three days after giving birth and her baby survived only a fortnight longer.’
    • ‘The younger son Chris, who has survived, is living happily with loving parents.’
    • ‘Many are grazing, and others continue to survive in our midst whether we like it or not.’
    • ‘However, all survived somehow, and managed to feed and house themselves, have relationships, and have children.’
    • ‘Untreated, patients do not survive to adulthood.’
    • ‘If that is the case the bird wouldn't have survived in the wild.’
    • ‘Those who have survived now mostly live in the open, where they lack enough food, water and sanitation.’
    • ‘Let's not kid ourselves, it is the type of cancer treatment available and where you live which determines who survives.’
    • ‘We may not enjoy it, but it is a fact that we live and we survive amidst incredible turmoil.’
    • ‘Many of these children are surviving to adulthood and living satisfying, productive lives.’
    • ‘One old blanket wasn't much help trying to survive in the wilds.’
    • ‘In January he was given six months to live but survived longer than doctors predicted.’
    • ‘You can only survive so long on dialysis before your body starts shutting down.’
    • ‘How can it be possible that there are people, especially children, who live or survive in these conditions?’
    • ‘Of these, only two survived outside the womb.’
    remain alive, live, sustain oneself, cling to life, pull through, get through, hold on, hold out, make it, keep body and soul together
    continue, remain, last, persist, endure, live on, persevere, abide, go on, keep on, carry on, stay around, linger, be extant, exist, be
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Continue to live or exist in spite of (an accident or ordeal)
      ‘he has survived several assassination attempts’
      • ‘Two of the old soldiers saw fit to advise me on how to survive my approaching ordeal.’
      • ‘After surviving the tragic ordeal, the infant has been united with her real father.’
      • ‘Perhaps hearing the voices of those who survived this ordeal would humanise it for the rest of us.’
      • ‘Lawrence survived a devastating accident at work with months of painful recovery in the hospital and at home.’
      • ‘The humans who survived the disaster lived in a floating space colony.’
      • ‘Remarkably, after several weeks in hospital, the little boy survived his ordeal.’
      • ‘It is one thing to survive a terrible ordeal and another to learn to live with the fallout.’
      • ‘They have a resilience and an energy to survive what no other vegetable can endure.’
      • ‘The couple returned to thank local Thais who helped them survive the ordeal.’
      • ‘They were very lucky to be alive and survived their ordeal almost unscathed.’
      • ‘The buzzard survived his ordeal, although he was extremely dehydrated and had suffered some damage to the muscles in one of his wings.’
      • ‘Busby suffered extensive injuries and was the only club official to survive the crash.’
      • ‘With a sector of the city assigned, they tried to find anyone who had survived the horrific ordeal.’
      • ‘In the movie, Julie, after being badly injured, survives an accident in which she loses her husband and her child.’
      • ‘They are two sisters who survived barely a terrible automobile accident.’
      • ‘Sarah survived the accident as she was sleeping in her grandparents' house.’
      • ‘She survived the ordeal with cuts and bruises and has been praised for her tenacity.’
      • ‘I was told that many less robust animals do not survive the ordeal.’
      • ‘Four years ago, he and five friends survived an accident when their vessel smashed into rocks off North Wales.’
      • ‘The fish are all still around, having survived three winters with us now.’
    2. 1.2with object Remain alive after the death of (a particular person)
      ‘he was survived by his wife and six children’
      • ‘Winnie is survived by her husband Mick, nieces, nephews and other relatives.’
      • ‘Her special companion preceded her in death and she is survived by many close friends.’
      • ‘He is survived by his wife Norrie, sons and daughters, family members, relatives and many friends.’
      • ‘He is survived by his wife, sons, sister, nephews, nieces and by other relations.’
      • ‘Davy was a very popular man locally and he is survived by his wife Patsy and four children.’
      • ‘He is survived by a wife, Claudia, seven children and nine grandchildren.’
      • ‘He was 50 and is survived by wife, three sons and a daughter.’
      • ‘He is survived by his five daughters, one son and his grand-daughter Laura.’
      • ‘He said employers' schemes should not be required to link payments to inflation or to pay surviving partners after death.’
      • ‘He is survived by his wife of 66 years and four of their five children.’
      • ‘He is survived by his wife Bridget and their family, as well as his brothers and sisters.’
      • ‘She is also survived by her sons, daughters and sister-in-law.’
      • ‘He married thrice and his third wife Helene survives him.’
      • ‘He is survived by his second wife, Wende, whom he married in 1975, and by their two sons and a daughter.’
      • ‘He is survived by his wife Anna, six daughters, two sons, and their families.’
      • ‘Mr Parker is survived by his wife, four children and five grandchildren.’
      • ‘It is necessary that surviving family members remain together.’
      • ‘Billy is survived by his loving wife Jackie and his adoring daughter Karina.’
      • ‘He is survived by his wife, his four children and six grandchildren.’
      • ‘He is survived by his wife Geraldine and his two children, Gillian and Michael.’
      outlive, outlast, live after, live on after, live longer than, remain alive after
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3no object Manage to keep going in difficult circumstances.
      ‘she had to work day and night and survive on two hours' sleep’
      • ‘You learn how to wake up at the slightest sound and survive on less sleep than Mrs Thatcher.’
      • ‘Frosh week was when I learned how to survive on one hour of sleep and still have a fantastic day.’
      • ‘The American economy can take many shocks and it will still survive somehow because of its tremendous depth.’


Late Middle English: from Old French sourvivre, from Latin supervivere, from super- ‘in addition’ + vivere ‘live’.