from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To remain alive or in existence.
  • intransitive v. To carry on despite hardships or trauma; persevere: families that were surviving in tents after the flood.
  • intransitive v. To remain functional or usable: I dropped the radio, but it survived.
  • transitive v. To live longer than; outlive: She survived her husband by five years.
  • transitive v. To live, persist, or remain usable through: plants that can survive frosts; a clock that survived a fall.
  • transitive v. To cope with (a trauma or setback); persevere after: survived child abuse.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Of a person, to continue to live; to remain alive.
  • v. Of an object or concept, to continue to exist.
  • v. To live longer than; to outlive.
  • v. To live past a life-threatening event.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To remain alive; to continue to live.
  • transitive v. To live beyond the life or existence of; to live longer than; to outlive; to outlast.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To outlive; live or exist beyond the life or existence of; outlast beyond some specified point of time, or some given person, thing, event, or circumstance: as, to survive one's usefulness.
  • Synonyms Outlive, Survive. See outline.
  • To remain alive or in existence; specifically, to remain alive after the death or cessation of some one or something.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. continue to live through hardship or adversity
  • v. support oneself
  • v. continue in existence after (an adversity, etc.)
  • v. live longer than


Middle English surviven, from Old French sourvivre, from Latin supervīvere : super-, super- + vīvere, to live.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman survivre, Old French survivre, from Late Latin supervivere ("to outlive"), from Latin super ("over") + vivere ("to live"), akin to vita ("life"); see vivid. Compare devive, revive. (Wiktionary)



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