What does successful mean?

Definitions for successful
səkˈsɛs fəlsuc·cess·ful

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word successful.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. successfuladjective

    having succeeded or being marked by a favorable outcome

    "a successful architect"; "a successful business venture"


  1. successfuladjective

    Resulting in success; assuring, or promotive of, success; accomplishing what was proposed; having the desired effect; prosperous; fortunate; happy

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Successfuladjective

    Prosperous; happy; fortunate.

    Etymology: success and full.

    They were terrible alarms to persons grown wealthy by a long and successful imposture, by persuading the world that men might be honest and happy, though they never mortified any corrupt appetites. Robert South, Sermons.

    H’ observ’d the illustrious throng,
    Their names, their fates, their conduct and their care
    In peaceful senates and successful war. Dryden.

    The early hunter
    Blesses Diana’s hand, who leads him safe
    O’er hanging cliffs; who spreads his net successful,
    And guides the arrow through the panther’s heart. Matthew Prior.


  1. successful

    Success is the state or condition of meeting a defined range of expectations. It may be viewed as the opposite of failure. The criteria for success depend on context, and may be relative to a particular observer or belief system. One person might consider a success what another person considers a failure, particularly in cases of direct competition or a zero-sum game. Similarly, the degree of success or failure in a situation may be differently viewed by distinct observers or participants, such that a situation that one considers to be a success, another might consider to be a failure, a qualified success or a neutral situation. For example, a film that is a commercial failure or even a box-office bomb can go on to receive a cult following, with the initial lack of commercial success even lending a cachet of subcultural coolness.It may also be difficult or impossible to ascertain whether a situation meets criteria for success or failure due to ambiguous or ill-defined definition of those criteria. Finding useful and effective criteria, or heuristics, to judge the failure or success of a situation may itself be a significant task.


  1. successful

    Successful usually refers to the accomplishment of a goal, aim, or purpose. It could also mean achieving wealth, respect, or fame. Being successful often implies the attainment of desired outcomes or the triumph over challenges or difficulties. It can be subjective and may depend on individual perceptions or societal standards.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Successfuladjective

    resulting in success; assuring, or promotive of, success; accomplishing what was proposed; having the desired effect; hence, prosperous; fortunate; happy; as, a successful use of medicine; a successful experiment; a successful enterprise

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'successful' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #903

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'successful' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1517

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'successful' in Adjectives Frequency: #107

How to pronounce successful?

How to say successful in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of successful in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of successful in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of successful in a Sentence

  1. Andrew Tilker:

    To the scientific world this was a lost species, but local people had known about it. It was only by utilizing the local ecological knowledge that we were successful. That can be replicated for other species in other parts of the world.

  2. Leah Briscoe:

    I called her the other day on it, and the nurse was in her room, so she was able to be like' Oh look someone's calling you on it.' We had a whole conversation on it, she was so excited, we tried to do the tablet thing with her, and it wasn't successful. She can't really talk on the phone anymore, so we needed to get a little bit more creative with how we were going to keep in touch with her.

  3. Captain Dave Carraro of FV-Tuna:

    We all wan na see each other succeed having successful seasons — while catching fish and all making money — however, every boat wants to be that top boat, this year specifically it is very competitive and coming down to the wire. The finale is going to be very close. I ca n’t say who is going to win, we all know, but it’s going to come down to the very last fish.

  4. Tom Henderson:

    The Democratic voters in Iowa are eager for this to get started, many Democrats believe that a spirited caucus and primary season is essential to a successful Democratic presidential campaign in the fall of 2016.

  5. Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird:

    I would characterize the meeting as constructive and worthwhile, and we look forward to resolving that issue. It's still not resolved today, but that’s why I came, this is a complex case … (The) minister understands how important this is to me, to all Canadians. I thought today’s meeting was a very constructive step on the road to a successful resolution.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for successful

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"successful." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 3 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/successful>.

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