1530s, "result, outcome," from L. successus
"an advance, succession, happy outcome," from succedere
"come after" (see succeed
). Meaning "accomplishment of desired end" (good success
) first recorded 1580s. Successor
"one who comes after" is recorded from late 13c.
"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]
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."