1425–75; late Middle English
< Middle French survivre
< Latin supervīvere,
equivalent to super- super-
to live; see sur-1
self-surviving, adjectiveunsurvived, adjectiveunsurviving, adjective
persist, succeed. Survive, outlive
refer to remaining alive longer than someone else or after some event. Survive
usually means to succeed in keeping alive against odds, to live after some event that has threatened one: to survive an automobile accident.
It is also used of living longer than another person (usually a relative), but, today, mainly in the passive, as in the fixed expression: The deceased is survived by his wife and children. Outlive
stresses capacity for endurance, the time element, and sometimes a sense of competition: He outlived all his enemies.
It is also used, however, of a person or object that has lived or lasted beyond a certain point: He has outlived his usefulness.