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suc·ces·sion (sək-sĕshən)
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n.
1. The act or process of following in order or sequence.
2. A group of people or things arranged or following in order; a sequence: "A succession of one-man stalls offered soft drinks" (Alec Waugh). See Synonyms at series.
3.
a. The sequence in which one person after another succeeds to a title, throne, or position.
b. The right of a person or a line of persons to so succeed.
4.
a. The act or process of succeeding to the rights or duties of another.
b. The act or process of becoming entitled as a legal beneficiary to the property of a deceased person.
5. Ecology The gradual replacement of one type of ecological community by another in the same area, involving a series of orderly changes, especially in the dominant vegetation, and often resulting in the establishment of a climax community.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin successiō, successiōn-, from successus, past participle of succēdere, to succeed; see SUCCEED.]

suc·cession·al adj.
suc·cession·al·ly adv.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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