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[ser-vahy-ver] /sərˈvaɪ vər/
a person or thing that survives.
Law. the one of two or more designated persons, as joint tenants or others having a joint interest, who outlives the other or others.
a person who continues to function or prosper in spite of opposition, hardship, or setbacks.
1495-1505; survive + -or2
Related forms
nonsurvivor, noun
self-survivor, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for survivors
  • The two survivors still in the hospital were both white and both shot in the head.
  • Only the survivors' hospitality alleviated the grimness.
  • And some of those survivors dramatically affected the societies they beached upon.
  • The survivors were driven from the valley and returned later only in small, heartbroken bands.
  • Only a handful of survivors managed somehow to escape into the forest and make their way to safety.
  • Follows the fate of six survivors and describes their experiences.
  • survivors are calling out and ambulances are rushing around and people are digging in rocks-there is a lot of activity.
  • But even they, the survivors, were stumbling out of the smoke into a different world.
  • Everyone involved in this therapy should be required to learn about comas and to attend groups run by survivors.
  • Zombies race after the survivors and try to grab as many flags as they can.
Word Origin and History for survivors



c.1500, in the legal sense of "one who outlives another," agent noun from survive. Meaning "one who has a knack for pulling through adversity" is attested from 1971. Survivor syndrome is first recorded 1968.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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