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[suh k-ses] /səkˈsɛs/
the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one's goals.
the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.
a performance or achievement that is marked by success, as by the attainment of honors:
The play was an instant success.
a person or thing that has had success, as measured by attainment of goals, wealth, etc.:
She was a great success on the talk show.
Obsolete, outcome.
Origin of success
1530-40; < Latin successus, equivalent to succēd-, stem of succēdere to succeed + -tus suffix of v. action, with dt > ss
Related forms
successless, adjective
successlessly, adverb
successlessness, noun
nonsuccess, noun
presuccess, noun
semisuccess, adjective, noun
2. achievement, fame, triumph. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for success
  • But persistence prevailed, and here are the secrets for success.
  • As always, your success will depend upon your own artfulness.
  • Indeed, keeping her family's needs close at hand is central to the success of this equation.
  • Few other endeavors would allow the novice such immediate success.
  • The project was a success: it improved water access and agricultural production, and local families maintain the structures today.
  • Still, the third film was enough of a success that a fourth installment was put into development.
  • Savvy theater owners always knew the key to success: adapt or die.
  • By all accounts it's been a huge success, but never a complete one.
  • They have called for a return of chain saws to federal woods, so far without success.
  • Yet today, signs of commercial success are everywhere.
British Dictionary definitions for success


the favourable outcome of something attempted
the attainment of wealth, fame, etc
an action, performance, etc, that is characterized by success
a person or thing that is successful
(obsolete) any outcome
Derived Forms
successless, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin successus an outcome, from succēdere to succeed
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for success

1530s, "result, outcome," from Latin successus "an advance, succession, happy outcome," from succedere "come after" (see succeed). Meaning "accomplishment of desired end" (good success) first recorded 1580s.

The moral flabbiness born of the bitch-goddess SUCCESS. That -- with the squalid interpretation put on the word success -- is our national disease. [William James to H.G. Wells, Sept. 11, 1906]
Success story is attested from 1925. Among the French phrases used in English late 19c. were succès d'estime "cordial reception given to a literary work out of respect rather than admiration" and succès de scandale "success (especially of a work of art) dependent upon its scandalous character."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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