• succumb
  • audio pronunciation
  • \suh-KUM\
  • DEFINITION

verb

1
: to yield to superior strength or force or overpowering appeal or desire
2
: to be brought to an end (such as death) by the effect of destructive or disruptive forces
  • EXAMPLES

Rescuers feared that the missing mountain climbers would succumb to hypothermia.

"When I look back on my life . . . I see moments where it might have been understandable had I turned to drugs or ice cream. But I never succumbed. My natural tendency … is to be happy." — Martin Short, I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend, 2014

  • DID YOU KNOW?

If the idea of someone succumbing brings to mind the image of a person lying down before more powerful forces, you have an excellent grasp of the Latin that gave us succumb. Succumb derives from the French word succomber, which is itself from the Latin word succumbere, meaning "to fall down" or "to yield." Succumbere was formed by combining sub-, meaning "under," with -cumbere, meaning "to lie down." The earliest application of succumb in the late 15th century was as a transitive verb meaning "to bring down" or "to overwhelm," but this sense is now obsolete. The current sense of "to yield" first appeared in print in the early 17th century; the more specific use—yielding to a disease or other destructive force—followed two centuries later.

Name That Synonym: Fill in the blanks to create a synonym of succumb: ca _ i _ ul _ _ e. The answer is …

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