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verb (used without object)
  1. to give way to superior force; yield: to succumb to despair.
  2. 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 formssuc·cumb·er, nounun·suc·cumb·ing, adjective


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1. submit, accede, surrender.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for succumber


verb (intr often foll by to)
  1. to give way in face of the overwhelming force (of) or desire (for)
  2. to be fatally overwhelmed (by disease, old age, etc); die (of)
Derived Formssuccumber, 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

Word Origin and History for succumber



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