To survive something is to live through it or endure it. You can survive a car accident, or you can survive your little brother's four-hour violin recital.

The verb survive is from the Latin word supervivere, “live beyond,” or “live longer than.” Originally to survive was used in the legal context as in “you survive your wife and therefore inherit her kingdom.” However, nowadays you might say that you were able to survive a holiday at your in-laws’, that your brother survived his first round of job interviews, or that you will never survive another all-day trip to the zoo in ninety degree heat.

Definitions of survive
  1. verb
    continue in existence after (an adversity, etc.)
    “He survived the cancer against all odds”
    synonyms: come through, make it, pull round, pull through
    see moresee less
    succumb, yield
    be fatally overwhelmed
    type of:
    defeat, get the better of, overcome
    win a victory over
  2. verb
    continue to live through hardship or adversity
    “These superstitions survive in the backwaters of America”
    synonyms: endure, go, hold out, hold up, last, live, live on
    be, live
    have life, be alive
    exist, live, subsist
    support oneself
    see moresee less
    hold up, hold water, stand up
    resist or withstand wear, criticism, etc.
    survive from season to season, of plants
    live out
    live out one's life; live to the end
  3. verb
    support oneself
    synonyms: exist, live, subsist
    endure, go, hold out, hold up, last, live, live on
    continue to live through hardship or adversity
    see moresee less
    be alive
    drift, freewheel
    live unhurriedly, irresponsibly, or freely
  4. verb
    live longer than
    synonyms: outlast, outlive
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week