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 formssuc·cumb·er, nounun·suc·cumb·ing, adjective

Synonyms for succumb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for succumb

Contemporary Examples of succumb

Historical Examples of succumb

  • 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.

  • "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 (intr 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 Formssuccumber, noun

Word Origin for succumb

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 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