See more synonyms for success on
  1. the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one's goals.
  2. the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.
  3. a performance or achievement that is marked by success, as by the attainment of honors: The play was an instant success.
  4. a person or thing that has had success, as measured by attainment of goals, wealth, etc.: She was a great success on the talk show.
  5. Obsolete. outcome.

Origin of success

1530–40; < Latin successus, equivalent to succēd-, stem of succēdere to succeed + -tus suffix of v. action, with dt > ss
Related formssuc·cess·less, adjectivesuc·cess·less·ly, adverbsuc·cess·less·ness, nounnon·suc·cess, nounpre·suc·cess, nounsem·i·suc·cess, adjective, noun

Synonyms for success

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for success

Contemporary Examples of success

Historical Examples of success

  • I ventured to predict that success awaited him in the rubber business.

  • They tried it out at home and when it proved a success, they carried it abroad.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • That one example, moreover, has been a success as unqualified as undeniable.

    'Tis Sixty Years Since

    Charles Francis Adams

  • She was properly presented; but as yet she has had no success at all.'


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • Thus was the work begun by Wilberforce finally crowned with success.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

British Dictionary definitions for success


  1. the favourable outcome of something attempted
  2. the attainment of wealth, fame, etc
  3. an action, performance, etc, that is characterized by success
  4. a person or thing that is successful
  5. obsolete any outcome
Derived Formssuccessless, adjective

Word Origin for success

C16: from Latin successus an outcome, from succēdere to succeed
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 success

1530s, "result, outcome," from Latin successus "an advance, succession, happy outcome," from succedere "come after" (see succeed). Meaning "accomplishment of desired end" (good success) first recorded 1580s.

The moral flabbiness born of the bitch-goddess SUCCESS. That -- with the squalid interpretation put on the word success -- is our national disease. [William James to H.G. Wells, Sept. 11, 1906]

Success story is attested from 1925. Among the French phrases used in English late 19c. were succès d'estime "cordial reception given to a literary work out of respect rather than admiration" and succès de scandale "success (especially of a work of art) dependent upon its scandalous character."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper