Word of the Day – Succumb

Word of the Day : May 4, 2021


verb suh-KUM


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

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 English succumbSuccumb 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 decades later.


Of all the food experiences I have missed in the last year, one stands out: my regular trip to a falafel stall on the edge of London’s Shepherd’s Bush Market. It sold the greatest falafels I’ve ever tasted: crisp and crunchy on the outside, succumbing to a fluffy interior, bright green with parsley and coriander.” — Keith Kendrick, Good Food, March 2021

“Georgia is in possession of the only unfinished manuscript that her deceased relative left behind, and her own mom wants her to sell the rights so they can get some cash. Georgia succumbs to the pressure and enters a deal in which another author will finish the book’s second half.” — Kirkus Reviews, 1 Mar. 2021