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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.



survive (third-person singular simple present survives, present participle surviving, simple past and past participle survived)

  1. (intransitive) Of a person, to continue to live; to remain alive.
  2. (intransitive) Of an object or concept, to continue to exist.
  3. (transitive) To live longer than; to outlive.
    His children survived him; he was survived by his children.
    • 1594, William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, Act II, Scene I:
      And for that dowrie, Ile aſſure her of / Her widdow-hood, be it that ſhe ſuruiue me / In all my Lands and Leaſes whatſoeuer / Let ſpecialties be therefore drawne betweene vs, / That couenants may be kept on either hand.
    • 1817, Walter Scott, Rob Roy, X:
      ‘I am afraid, as will happen in other cases, the treaty of alliance has survived the amicable dispositions in which it had its origin.’
  4. (transitive) To live past a life-threatening event.
    He did not survive the accident.
  5. (transitive, sports) Of a team, to avoid relegation or demotion to a lower division or league.




Further readingEdit