Meaning of “survive” in the English Dictionary

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"survive" in British English

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surviveverb

uk /səˈvaɪv/ us /sɚˈvaɪv/

B2 [ I or T ] to continue to live or exist, especially after coming close to dying or being destroyed or after being in a difficult or threatening situation:

The baby was born with a heart problem and only survived for a few hours.
These plants cannot survive in very cold conditions.
None of Shakespeare's plays survives in its original manuscript form.
The family are struggling to survive on very little money.
The front passengers were lucky to survive the accident.
The chairman of the board succeeded in surviving the challenge to his authority.
"How are you?" "Oh, (I'm) surviving (= life is satisfactory, but not very good)."

[ T ] to continue to live after someone, especially a member of your family, has died:

He is survived by his wife and four children.

More examples

  • There's only a fifty-fifty chance that she'll survive the operation.
  • Friendless and jobless, he wondered how he would survive the year ahead.
  • Fugitive families who have fled the fighting in the cities are now trying to survive in the mountains.
  • A large amount of money will have to be injected into the company if it is to survive.
  • A small dog had somehow managed to survive the fire.

(Definition of “survive” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"survive" in American English

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surviveverb [ I/T ]

us /sərˈvɑɪv/

to continue to live or to exist, esp. after a dangerous event:

[ I ] The baby was born with a defective heart and survived for only a few hours.
[ T ] The building survived the earthquake with little damage.

If someone is survived by family members, those family members are still alive when that person dies:

[ T ] He is survived by his wife and two children.

(Definition of “survive” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"survive" in Business English

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surviveverb [ I or T ]

uk /səˈvaɪv/ us

to continue to exist, and not to fail or be destroyed:

The family is struggling to survive on a very reduced income.
A large amount of money will have to be injected into the company if it is to survive.
The director succeeded in surviving the challenge to his authority.

INSURANCE, LAW to live longer than someone else:

If the wife survives the husband, she will be entitled to a share of his pension.
The booklet gives details on how to claim benefits for a surviving spouse.

(Definition of “survive” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)