success

For some students, success in school means getting A's and B's. For others, it means getting straight A's, starring in the school play, and winning the class election. Success means achieving a goal, and everyone's goals are different.

We tend to think of success as a triumph or victory, but if you look at its linguistic roots in Latin, success literally just means "result." At some point several centuries ago people probably began using success as shorthand for "good success," and eventually they dropped the good altogether. That would explain why in formal settings you still occasionally hear the phrase "good success," even though we now think of all successes as good.

DEFINITIONS OF: success

1

n an event that accomplishes its intended purpose

“let's call heads a success and tails a failure”
“the election was a remarkable success for the Whigs”
Antonyms:
failure
an event that does not accomplish its intended purpose
Types:
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barnburner
an impressively successful event
Godspeed
a successful journey
triumph, victory
a successful ending of a struggle or contest
bite
(angling) an instance of a fish taking the bait
win
a victory (as in a race or other competition)
fall, pin
when a wrestler's shoulders are forced to the mat
independence
the successful ending of the American Revolution
landslide
an overwhelming electoral victory
last laugh
ultimate success achieved after a near failure (inspired by the saying `he laughs best who laughs last')
Pyrrhic victory
a victory that is won by incurring terrible losses
slam, sweep
winning all or all but one of the tricks in bridge
checkmate
complete victory
blowout, laugher, romp, runaway, shoo-in, walkaway
an easy victory
service break
a tennis game won on the opponent's service
walk-in, waltz
an assured victory (especially in an election)
Type of:
happening, natural event, occurrence, occurrent
an event that happens

n an attainment that is successful

“his success in the marathon was unexpected”
“his new play was a great success
Types:
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winning
succeeding with great difficulty
bang, hit, smash, smasher, strike
a conspicuous success
bell ringer, bull's eye, home run, mark
something that exactly succeeds in achieving its goal
conquest
success in mastering something difficult
coup
a brilliant and notable success
flying colors, flying colours
complete success
pass, passing, qualifying
success in satisfying a test or requirement
overturn, upset
an improbable and unexpected victory
conquest, seduction
an act of winning the love or sexual favor of someone
score
the act of scoring in a game or sport
solution
the successful action of solving a problem
blockbuster, megahit, smash hit
an unusually successful hit with widespread popularity and huge sales (especially a movie or play or recording or novel)
sleeper
an unexpected hit
score, sexual conquest
a seduction culminating in sexual intercourse
bull's eye
in target shooting: a score made by hitting the center of the target
goal
a successful attempt at scoring
strike, ten-strike
a score in tenpins: knocking down all ten with the first ball
spare
a score in tenpins; knocking down all ten after rolling two balls
break, open frame
any frame in which a bowler fails to make a strike or spare
safety
a score in American football; a player is tackled behind his own goal line
touchdown
a score in American football; being in possession of the ball across the opponents' goal line
field goal
a score in American football; a score made by kicking the ball between the opponents' goal posts
conversion
a successful free throw or try for point after a touchdown
run, tally
a score in baseball made by a runner touching all four bases safely
basket, field goal
a score in basketball made by throwing the ball through the hoop
hat trick
(sports) three consecutive scores by one player or three scores in one game (as in cricket or ice hockey etc.)
break, break of serve
(tennis) a score consisting of winning a game when your opponent was serving
equalizer
a score that makes the match even
Type of:
attainment
the act of achieving an aim

n a state of prosperity or fame

“he is enjoying great success
“he does not consider wealth synonymous with success
Antonyms:
failure
lack of success
Types:
big time
the highest level of an occupation (especially in entertainment)
pay dirt
a profitable success
Type of:
prosperity, successfulness
the condition of prospering; having good fortune

n a person with a record of successes

“if you want to be a success you have to dress like a success”
Synonyms:
achiever, succeeder, winner
Antonyms:
failure, loser, nonstarter, unsuccessful person
a person with a record of failing; someone who loses consistently
Types:
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first lady
the leading woman in an art or profession
great
a person who has achieved distinction and honor in some field
highflier, highflyer
a person of great ability and ambition
natural
someone regarded as certain to succeed
sleeper
an unexpected achiever of success
Type of:
individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul
a human being
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