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[ser-vahyv] /sərˈvaɪv/
verb (used without object), survived, surviving.
to remain alive after the death of someone, the cessation of something, or the occurrence of some event; continue to live:
Few survived after the holocaust.
to remain or continue in existence or use:
Ancient farming methods still survive in the Middle East.
to get along or remain healthy, happy, and unaffected in spite of some occurrence:
She's surviving after the divorce.
verb (used with object), survived, surviving.
to continue to live or exist after the death, cessation, or occurrence of:
His wife survived him. He survived the operation.
to endure or live through (an affliction, adversity, misery, etc.):
She's survived two divorces.
Origin of survive
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Middle French survivre < Latin supervīvere, equivalent to super- super- + vīvere to live; see sur-1, vivid
Related forms
self-surviving, adjective
unsurvived, adjective
unsurviving, adjective
1. persist, succeed. Survive, outlive refer to remaining alive longer than someone else or after some event. Survive usually means to succeed in keeping alive against odds, to live after some event that has threatened one: to survive an automobile accident. It is also used of living longer than another person (usually a relative), but, today, mainly in the passive, as in the fixed expression: The deceased is survived by his wife and children. Outlive stresses capacity for endurance, the time element, and sometimes a sense of competition: He outlived all his enemies. It is also used, however, of a person or object that has lived or lasted beyond a certain point: He has outlived his usefulness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for survived
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But she knew that she had survived them, that some great calamity had fallen upon and destroyed them.

    Green Mansions W. H. Hudson
  • Thacher was Avery's companion and survived to tell the tale.

  • Its effects were, however, beneficial to the villagers who survived.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • By this traffic Germany had survived for a century and a half.

    City of Endless Night Milo Hastings
  • Hilary Grendon was a methodical man: that was the reason he had survived.

    Slaves of Mercury Nat Schachner
British Dictionary definitions for survived


(transitive) to live after the death of (another): he survived his wife by 12 years
to continue in existence or use after (a passage of time, an adversity, etc)
(informal) to endure (something): I don't know how I survive such an awful job
Derived Forms
survivable, adjective
survivability, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French sourvivre, from Latin supervīvere, from super- + vīvere to live
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 survived



early 15c., "act or condition of one person outliving another," originally in the legal (inheritance) sense, from Anglo-French survivre, Old French souvivre, from Latin supervivere "live beyond, live longer than," from super "over, beyond" (see super-) + vivere "to live" (see vivid). Related: Survived; surviving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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