Definition of success noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//səkˈses//
    ; NAmE NAmE//səkˈses//
    jump to other results
  1. 1  [uncountable] the fact that you have achieved something that you want and have been trying to do or get; the fact of becoming rich or famous or of getting a high social position What's the secret of your success? success (in doing something) I didn't have much success in finding a job. success (in something) They didn't have much success in life. Confidence is the key to success. economic success Their plan will probably meet with little success. She was surprised by the book's success (= that it had sold a lot of copies).
  2. 2  [countable] a person or thing that has achieved a good result and been successful The party was a big success. He's proud of his daughter's successes. She wasn't a success as a teacher. He was determined to make a success of the business.
  3. opposite failure
    Word Originmid 16th cent.: from Latin successus, from the verb succedere ‘come close after’, from sub- ‘close to’ + cedere ‘go’.Extra examples He attributes his success to having a stable family life. He is eager to notch up another success. He was pleased with his apparent success. I owe my success to him. I’ve had some success in getting rid of the weeds. Initially the venture enjoyed a fair amount of success. It has already been used with great success. Much of his success lies in his skill in handling staff. Researchers have claimed great success with this approach. Several people have reported success with this approach. She had little success in getting new customers. She had worked hard and was confident of success. She tried to persuade them without success. She’s made a real success of that job. Success didn’t come overnight—she struggled for years before making any money. That kind of financial success breeds confidence. The band’s new album has been a runaway success. The bank’s success rests on several factors. The book proved a major commercial success. The campaign had only limited success. The campaign to stop drink-driving had only limited success. The company has been one of the success stories of the past decade. The company’s excellent marketing has resulted in enormous international success. The event was judged a success by its organizers. The movement has scored some notable successes. The operation has a success rate of over 80%. The success or failure of the project depends on how committed the managers are. The year-long fight for a pay rise ended in success. The year-long fight for permission to build the house ended in success. Their ultimate success has yet to be determined. These issues determine success in the global marketplace. We are sad to see Hiroko go, and wish her every success in the future. We can’t guarantee immediate success. We had one or two outstanding successes. We were celebrating our success. We’re trying to get him to sponsor us, but there’s not much hope of success. What are our chances of success? Your contribution was vital to the success of the concert. artists who have experienced some initial success one of the key success factors the immediate satisfaction of worldly success the mixed success of the project the recent success of films from Mexico the secret of his success with women the test’s ability to predict success in college He had already achieved modest successes on the London stage. If we manage to break even this year, it will be a qualified success. She wasn’t a success as a teacher. The party was a great success. Confidence is the key to success. She was surprised by the book’ s success. commercial/​economic/​electoral successIdioms
    nothing succeeds like success
    jump to other results
    (saying) when you are successful in one area of your life, it often leads to success in other areas
    (informal) a very great success The latest Disneyland has been a roaring success.
    the sweet smell of success
    jump to other results
    (informal) the pleasant feeling of being successful
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: success