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What is the difference between succeed and achieve?


As verbs the difference between succeed and achieve

is that succeed is to follow in order; to come next after; hence, to take the place of while achieve is to succeed in something, now especially in academic performance.




Alternative forms

* succede (dated)


  • To follow in order; to come next after; hence, to take the place of.
  • The king's eldest son succeeds his father on the throne.
    Autumn succeeds summer.
  • To obtain the object desired; to accomplish what is attempted or intended; to have a prosperous issue or termination; to be successful.
  • To fall heir to; to inherit.
  • To come after; to be subsequent or consequent to; to follow; to pursue.
  • * 1919 ,
  • *:Her arms were like legs of mutton, her breasts like giant cabbages; her face, broad and fleshy, gave you an impression of almost indecent nakedness, and vast chin succeeded to vast chin.
  • To support; to prosper; to promote.
  • To come in the place of another person, thing, or event; to come next in the usual, natural, or prescribed course of things; to follow; hence, to come next in the possession of anything; -- often with to.
  • Specifically: To ascend the throne after the removal the death of the occupant.
  • To descend, as an estate or an heirloom, in the same family; to devolve.
  • To go under cover.
  • Antonyms

    * (follow in order) precede * fail, fall on one's face

    Derived terms

    * nothing succeeds like success (rel-mid3) * succedent (rel-mid3) * succeedingly (rel-bottom)




  • To succeed in something, now especially in academic performance.
  • To carry out successfully; to accomplish.
  • * I. Taylor
  • Supposing faculties and powers to be the same, far more may be achieved in any line by the aid of a capital, invigorating motive than without it.
  • (obsolete) To conclude, finish, especially successfully.
  • * 1590 , (Edmund Spenser), (The Faerie Queene) , III.1:
  • Full many Countreyes they did overronne, / From the uprising to the setting Sunne, / And many hard adventures did atchieve [...].
  • To obtain, or gain (a desired result, objective etc.), as the result of exertion; to succeed in gaining; to win.
  • *
  • |title=(The Celebrity)|chapter=1 |passage=I was about to say that I had known the Celebrity from the time he wore kilts. But I see I will have to amend that, because he was not a celebrity then, nor, indeed, did he achieve fame until some time after I left New York for the West.}}
  • * {{quote-news|year=2013|date=January 22|author=Phil McNulty|work=BBC
  • |title=[ Aston Villa 2-1 Bradford (3-4)] |passage=Bradford may have lost on the night but they stubbornly protected a 3-1 first-leg advantage to emulate a feat last achieved by Rochdale in 1962.}}
  • * (William Shakespeare), (Twelfth Night), II-v
  • Some are born great, some achieve greatness.
  • *
  • Thou hast achieved our liberty.
  • (obsolete) To conclude, to turn out.
  • * Prior
  • Show all the spoils by valiant kings achieved .
  • * (William Shakespeare), (Othello), II-i
  • He hath achieved a maid / That paragons description.


    * accomplish, effect, fulfil, fulfill, complete, execute, perform, realize, obtain. See accomplish

    Derived terms

    * achievement * achiever