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90s Slang You Should Know


[suh k-ses-fuh l] /səkˈsɛs fəl/
achieving or having achieved success.
having attained wealth, position, honors, or the like.
resulting in or attended with success.
Origin of successful
First recorded in 1580-90; success + -ful
Related forms
successfully, adverb
successfulness, noun
half-successful, adjective
half-successfully, adverb
half-successfulness, noun
nonsuccessful, adjective
nonsuccessfully, adverb
presuccessful, adjective
presuccessfully, adverb
quasi-successful, adjective
quasi-successfully, adverb
semisuccessful, adjective
semisuccessfully, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for successful
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The old doctor was very practical, therefore a successful practitioner.

    Watch Yourself Go By Al. G. Field
  • And I'm going to get the farmers who have been successful to co-operate with the farmers who have failed.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • Great skill in palming is necessary for their successful use.

    The Slang Dictionary John Camden Hotten
  • And he seemed likely to be successful, too, for the cry appeared to please the crowd.

    A Prisoner of Morro Upton Sinclair
  • Unfortunately, however, the verification only seemed to be successful.

British Dictionary definitions for successful


having succeeded in one's endeavours
marked by a favourable outcome
having obtained fame, wealth, etc
Derived Forms
successfully, adverb
successfulness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for successful

1580s, from success + -ful. Originally any kind of success; since late 19c. it has tended to mean "wealthy" unless otherwise indicated. Related: Successfully.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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