As a wise man once said, “The history of the world, my sweet, is who gets eaten and who gets to eat.” That’s survival in a nutshell. It’s the act of continuing to live, usually when others fail.

As the Bee Gees put it in disco’s heyday — survival means “staying alive.” If you look closely, you’ll spot viv in the middle of survival. That’s part of the Latin verb vivere, meaning “to live.” You might recognize it from words like vivid "lively" and vivacious "full of life." Combine it with sur- (over) and you’ll grasp the essence of survival: to keep existing despite hardship or after others die. Charles Darwin’s term survival of the fittest means that only the best equipped live will reproduce and survive.

Definitions of survival
  1. noun
    a state of surviving; remaining alive
    synonyms: endurance
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    a means of surviving
    type of:
    aliveness, animation, life, living
    the condition of living or the state of being alive
  2. noun
    a natural process resulting in the evolution of organisms best adapted to the environment
    synonyms: natural selection, selection, survival of the fittest
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    type of:
    action, activity, natural action, natural process
    a process existing in or produced by nature (rather than by the intent of human beings)
  3. noun
    something that survives
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    custom, usage, usance
    accepted or habitual practice
    hangover, holdover
    something that has survived from the past
    a custom that is peculiar to the United States or its citizens
    Anglicism, Britishism
    a custom that is peculiar to England or its citizens
    a custom or usage that has acquired the force of law
    a custom among some peoples whereby the husband of a pregnant wife is put to bed at the time of bearing the child
    a custom that is peculiar to Germany or its citizens
    habit, use
    (psychology) an automatic pattern of behavior in reaction to a specific situation; may be inherited or acquired through frequent repetition
    the custom in some Islamic societies of women dressing modestly outside the home
    rite, ritual
    any customary observance or practice
    type of:
    continuance, continuation
    the act of continuing an activity without interruption
Word Family

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