Etymology
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successful (adj.)

1580s, from success + -ful. Originally "having or resulting in any kind of success;" since late 19c. it has tended to mean "wealthy, resulting in financial prosperity" unless otherwise indicated. Related: Successfully.

updated on December 21, 2013

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Definitions of successful from WordNet

successful (adj.)
having succeeded or being marked by a favorable outcome;
a successful business venture
a successful architect
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.