Definition of successful adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//səkˈsesfl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//səkˈsesfl//
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  1. 1  achieving your aims or what was intended successful (in something/in doing something) They were successful in winning the contract. successful (at something/at doing something) I wasn't very successful at keeping the news secret. We congratulated them on the successful completion of the project.
  2. 2  having become popular and/or made a lot of money The play was very successful on Broadway. a successful actor The company has had another successful year. opposite unsuccessful Synonymssuccessfulprofitable commercial lucrative economicThese words all describe somebody/​something that is making or is likely to make money.successful making a lot of money, especially by being popular:The play was very successful on Broadway. The company has had another successful year.profitable making a profit:a highly profitable businesscommercial [only before noun] making or intended to make a profit:The movie was not a commercial success (= made no profit).lucrative (of business or work) producing or paying a large amount of money; making a large profit:They do a lot of business in lucrative overseas markets.economic (often used in negative sentences) (of a process, business or activity) producing enough profit to continue:Small local shops stop being economic when a supermarket opens up nearby.Patterns a successful/​profitable/​lucrative business a successful/​profitable/​lucrative year a(n) commercial/​economic success
  3. Extra examples The alliance was ultimately successful in getting its message across. The operation was only partially successful. Their attempts had not been entirely successful. We hope the party will be successful in the elections. Winning is the only way they can feel successful. a politically successful manoeuvre his phenomenally successful period as manager hoping their party would be successful in the elections He had a phenomenally successful period as manager. He had been successful at every job he had done. She has had a long and successful career in television. The company has been successful in controlling costs. The experiment was entirely successful. The police became more successful at clearing up crime. The successful candidate will be responsible for a large research project.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: successful