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[suhk-er] /ˈsʌk ər/
help; relief; aid; assistance.
a person or thing that gives help, relief, aid, etc.
verb (used with object)
to help or relieve.
Also, especially British, succour.
Origin of succor
1250-1300; (v.) Middle English sucuren < Old French suc(c)urre, socorre < Latin succurrere to go beneath, run to help, equivalent to suc- suc- + currere to run (see current); (noun) Middle English soc(o)ur, back formation from sucurs (taken as plural) < Old French < Medieval Latin succursus, equivalent to Latin succur(rere) + -sus, var of -tus suffix of v. action
Related forms
succorable, adjective
succorer, noun
nonsuccor, noun
unsuccorable, adjective
unsuccored, adjective
Can be confused
succor, sucker.
1, 3. support. 3. See help.
Usage note
See -or1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for succour
Historical Examples
  • It did her, for the time, the good of having him to think of and to succour.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • No, no; there could be no succour for a spot supposed to be empty and closed.

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
  • All hope was gone, and nothing was thought of but succour from abroad.

  • They know that at the cry of their distress England and America will rush to their succour.

    Ireland as It Is Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
  • He pledged to give half of all he had in the world to any who should succour her.

    Luttrell Of Arran Charles James Lever
  • None so poor, none so wretched, as not to succour and shelter her.

    Jack Hinton Charles James Lever
  • The words would not come; and I glanced around again for succour.

    Tom, Dick and Harry Talbot Baines Reed
  • The Prince is there, and we must take him what succour we can.

  • "God sent him to my succour, as by a miracle," Claire said simply.

  • succour they may give to them that need it, but whence have they the power to punish?

    Stories From Livy Alfred Church
British Dictionary definitions for succour


help or assistance, esp in time of difficulty
a person or thing that provides help
(transitive) to give aid to
Derived Forms
succourable, (US) succorable, adjective
succourer, (US) succorer, noun
succourless, (US) succorless, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French sucurir, from Latin succurrere to hurry to help, from sub- under + currere to run
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 succour

chiefly British English spelling of succor (q.v.); for spelling, see -or.



early 13c., from Anglo-French succors "help, aid," Old French sucurres, from Medieval Latin succursus "help, assistance," from past participle of Latin succurrere "run to help," from sub "up to" + currere "to run" (see current (adj.)). Final -s mistaken as a plural inflexion and dropped late 13c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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