For some students, success in school means getting As and Bs. For others, it means getting straight As, 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. noun
    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”
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    an event that does not accomplish its intended purpose
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    an impressively successful event
    a successful journey
    triumph, victory
    a successful ending of a struggle or contest
    (angling) an instance of a fish taking the bait
    a victory (as in a race or other competition)
    fall, pin
    when a wrestler's shoulders are forced to the mat
    the successful ending of the American Revolution
    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
    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
  2. noun
    an attainment that is successful
    “his success in the marathon was unexpected”
    “his new play was a great success
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    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
    success in mastering something difficult
    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
    the act of scoring in a game or sport
    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)
    an unexpected hit
    bull's eye
    in target shooting: a score made by hitting the center of the target
    a successful attempt at scoring
    strike, ten-strike
    a score in tenpins: knocking down all ten with the first ball
    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
    a score in American football; a player is tackled behind his own goal line
    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
    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
    a score that makes the match even
    type of:
    the act of achieving an aim
  3. noun
    a state of prosperity or fame
    “he is enjoying great success
    “he does not consider wealth synonymous with success
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    lack of success
    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
  4. noun
    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
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    failure, loser, nonstarter, unsuccessful person
    a person with a record of failing; someone who loses consistently
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    first lady
    the leading woman in an art or profession
    a person who has achieved distinction and honor in some field
    highflier, highflyer
    a person of great ability and ambition
    someone regarded as certain to succeed
    an unexpected achiever of success
    type of:
    individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul
    a human being
Word Family

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