[ ser-vahyv ]
See synonyms for: survivesurvivedsurviving on

verb (used without object),sur·vived, sur·viv·ing.
  1. 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.

  2. to remain or continue in existence or use: Ancient farming methods still survive in the Middle East.

  1. to get along or remain healthy, happy, and unaffected in spite of some occurrence: She's surviving after the divorce.

verb (used with object),sur·vived, sur·viv·ing.
  1. to continue to live or exist after the death, cessation, or occurrence of: His wife survived him. He survived the operation.

  2. to endure or live through (an affliction, adversity, misery, etc.): She's survived two divorces.

Origin of survive

First recorded in 1425–75; late Middle English, from Middle French survivre, from Latin supervīvere, equivalent to super-super- + vīvere “to live”; see sur-1, vivid

synonym study For survive

1. 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.

Other words for survive

Other words from survive

  • self-sur·viv·ing, adjective
  • un·sur·vived, adjective
  • un·sur·viv·ing, adjective

Words Nearby survive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use survive in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for survive


/ (səˈvaɪv) /

  1. (tr) to live after the death of (another): he survived his wife by 12 years

  2. to continue in existence or use after (a passage of time, an adversity, etc)

  1. informal to endure (something): I don't know how I survive such an awful job

Origin of survive

C15: from Old French sourvivre, from Latin supervīvere, from super- + vīvere to live

Derived forms of survive

  • survivable, adjective
  • survivability, noun

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