the coming of one person or thing after another in order, sequence, or in the course of events: many troubles in succession.
a number of persons or things following one another in order or sequence.
the right, act, or process, by which one person succeeds to the office, rank, estate, or the like, of another.
the order or line of those entitled to succeed one another.
the descent or transmission of a throne, dignity, estate, or the like.
Also called ecological succession. Ecology. the progressive replacement of one community by another until a climax community is established.

1275–1325; Middle English < Latin successiōn- (stem of successiō) a following (someone) in office, equivalent to success(us), past participle of succēdere to succeed + -iōn- -ion

successional, adjective
successionally, adverb
nonsuccession, noun
nonsuccessional, adjective
nonsuccessionally, adverb

2. See series. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
succession (səkˈsɛʃən)
1.  the act or an instance of one person or thing following another
2.  a number of people or things following one another in order
3.  the act, process, or right by which one person succeeds to the office, etc, of another
4.  the order that determines how one person or thing follows another
5.  a line of descent to a title, etc
6.  ecology the sum of the changes in the composition of a community that occur during its development towards a stable climax community
7.  in succession in a manner such that one thing is followed uninterruptedly by another
[C14: from Latin successio, from succēdere to succeed]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

early 14c., from O.Fr. succession (13c.), from L. successionem (nom. successio) "a following after, a coming into another's place, result," from successus, pp. of succedere (see succeed). Related: Successive (early 15c.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
succession   (sək-sěsh'ən)  Pronunciation Key 
The gradual replacement of one type of ecological community by another in the same area, involving a series of orderly changes, especially in the dominant vegetation. Succession is usually initiated by a significant disturbance of an existing community. Each succeeding community modifies the physical environment, as by introducing shade or changing the fertility or acidity of the soil, creating new conditions that benefit certain species and inhibit others until a climax community is established. ◇ The sequential development of plant and animal communities in an area in which no topsoil exists, as on a new lava flow, is called primary succession. ◇ The development of such communities in an area that has been disturbed but still retains its topsoil, as in a burned-over area, is called secondary succession. See more at climax community.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Her father gave her to a succession of six unpleasant foster families, the
  final one abusive.
The science of ecological succession tells us that such areas are important.
From an external perspective atoms can rotate randomly over a succession of
  frames with respect to one another.
So begins the succession from country to suburban to sprawl.
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