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[suh-kuhm] /səˈkʌm/
verb (used without object)
to give way to superior force; yield:
to succumb to despair.
to yield to disease, wounds, old age, etc.; die.
Origin of succumb
1480-90; < Latin succumbere, equivalent to suc- suc- + -cumbere, transitive derivative of cubāre to lie, recline; cf. incumbent
Related forms
succumber, noun
unsuccumbing, adjective
1. submit, accede, surrender. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for succumb
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Since death seems joyous, it is not feared, and their friends are glad when they succumb to it.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • I struggle in vain against them; but the more I struggle the more I feel I must succumb.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • "For a few moments, I feared he would not succumb to the bait," she said.

    Old Rambling House Frank Patrick Herbert
  • In general, every evil to which we do not succumb is a benefactor.

    Essays, First Series Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • By my soul, if Sylvia tempts you, man, why the devil don't ye just succumb and have done with it?

    The Snare Rafael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for succumb


verb (intransitive) often foll by to
to give way in face of the overwhelming force (of) or desire (for)
to be fatally overwhelmed (by disease, old age, etc); die (of)
Derived Forms
succumber, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin succumbere to be overcome, from sub- + -cumbere from cubāre to lie down
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 succumb

late 15c., from Middle French succomber, from Latin succumbere "submit, sink down, lie under," from sub "down" (see sub-) + -cumbere "take a reclining position," related to cubare "lie down" (see cubicle). Originally transitive; sense of "sink under pressure" is first recorded c.1600. Related: Succumbed; succumbing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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