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Alternative forms




Learned borrowing from Latin successus, from succēdō (succeed), from sub- (next to) + cēdō (go, move). Partly displaced native Old English spēd, whence Modern English speed.


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /səkˈsɛs/
  • Audio (US):(file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛs



success (countable and uncountable, plural successes)

  1. The achievement of one's aim or goal. [from 16th c.]
    Antonym: failure
    His third attempt to pass the entrance exam was a success.
    a glowing success
  2. (business) Financial profitability.
    Don't let success go to your head.
  3. One who, or that which, achieves assumed goals.
    Scholastically, he was a success.
    The new range of toys has been a resounding success.
  4. The fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame.
    She is country music's most recent success.
  5. (obsolete) Something which happens as a consequence; the outcome or result. [16th–18th c.]

Derived terms



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