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From survive +‎ -al.



survival (countable and uncountable, plural survivals)

  1. The fact or act of surviving; continued existence or life.
    His survival in the open ocean was a miracle; he had fully expected to die.
  2. (as a modifier) Of, relating to or aiding survival.
    persecution survival plan
    His survival kit had all the things he needed in the wilderness.
  3. (sports) The avoidance of relegation or demotion to a lower league or division.
    • 2000, Dan Goldstein, The Rough Guide to English Football: A Fans' Handbook 2000-2001:
      [] a team that have turned snatching relegation from the jaws of top-flight survival into an art form []
    • 2013, Alan Stubbs, How Football Saved My Life, page 139:
      "Before you know it, you find yourself flirting around the relegation places and the season becomes a battle for survival."
  4. (anthropology) A custom or belief that persists in folklore from earlier times, when the rationale behind it is forgotten.
    • 1871, Edward Burnett Tylor, Primitive culture: researches into the development of mythology, philosophy, religion, language, art, and custom[IA], Volume 1, chapter 3: "Survival in culture", page 78:
      Thus, if some old rhyme or saying has in one place a solemn import in philosophy or religion, while elsewhere it lies at the level of the nursery, there is some ground for treating the serious version as the more original, and the playful one as its mere lingering survival.
    • 1894, James William Black, “Savagery and survivals”, in Popular Science Monthly, volume 45, page 391:
      Another survival of marriage by capture is discovered among the Ceylonese, where it is common at royal marriages for the king and queen to throw perfumed balls and squirt scented water at each other.
    • 1891, Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Phase the First: The Maiden, chapter 2:
      The banded ones were all dressed in white gowns — a gay survival from Old Style days, when cheerfulness and May-time were synonyms — days before the habit of taking long views had reduced emotions to a monotonous average.

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