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[suh k-ses-fuh l] /səkˈsɛs fəl/
achieving or having achieved success.
having attained wealth, position, honors, or the like.
resulting in or attended with success.
Origin of successful
1580-90; success + -ful
Related forms
successfully, adverb
successfulness, noun
half-successful, adjective
half-successfully, adverb
half-successfulness, noun
nonsuccessful, adjective
nonsuccessfully, adverb
presuccessful, adjective
presuccessfully, adverb
quasi-successful, adjective
quasi-successfully, adverb
semisuccessful, adjective
semisuccessfully, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for successfully
  • Brown said the argument had been used successfully before to have perjury charges dismissed.
  • Indeed, one has already been tested successfully by a group of marines.
  • Veterinarians successfully treat injured equines with stem cells derived from the animals' own fat.
  • Most high-school teachers think their state standards successfully prepare students for college, but college instructors disagree.
  • Years of repression have stifled any opposition capable of challenging him successfully.
  • Only a handful of wild animal species have been successfully bred to get along with humans.
  • Yet a generic dog can mate successfully with wolves it encounters.
  • Successful finalists must consent to and successfully complete a criminal background check.
  • Her advertising blitz has successfully gotten her name recognition.
  • There, a range of lenders is successfully funnelling credit to its entrepreneurial poor.
British Dictionary definitions for successfully


having succeeded in one's endeavours
marked by a favourable outcome
having obtained fame, wealth, etc
Derived Forms
successfully, adverb
successfulness, noun
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 successfully



1580s, from success + -ful. Originally any kind of success; since late 19c. it has tended to mean "wealthy" unless otherwise indicated. Related: Successfully.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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