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late 14c., "come next after, take the place of another," from Old French succeder (14c.), from Latin succedere "come after, go near to," from sub "next to, after" (see sub-) + cedere "go, move" (see cede). Meaning "to continue, endure" is from early 15c. The sense of "turn out well, have a favorable result" is first recorded late 15c., with ellipsis of adverb (succeed well).