Ask Difference

Success vs. Victory — What's the Difference?

By Maham Liaqat & Urooj Arif — Updated on April 28, 2024
Success is the achievement of a set goal, encompassing various aspects of life, while victory refers specifically to the act of winning, often in competitive scenarios.
Success vs. Victory — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Success and Victory


Key Differences

Success involves achieving a set goal or reaching a desired objective, reflecting a broad and often personal measure of achievement. On the other hand, victory specifically denotes the act of winning, typically in a competitive environment like sports or politics.
Success can be long-term and subjective, varying greatly between individuals based on personal goals and values. Whereas victory is usually a clear, objective outcome determined by specific rules or conditions of a contest.
Success can occur in various aspects of life, including career, personal health, or academics, reflecting a holistic view of achievement. Conversely, victory is most often discussed in contexts like battles, games, or competitions, where direct competition is involved.
Success is often measured by personal or societal standards and may not involve competition with others. Meanwhile, victory inherently involves surpassing others in a competitive scenario.
The pursuit of success may require a series of victories, but not all victories lead to overall success, highlighting how success encompasses broader achievements beyond mere winning.

Comparison Chart


Achievement of a goal or objective.
Act of winning in a competition or battle.


Broad, can be personal or professional.
Specific, often related to competitions.


Subjective, can be based on personal or societal standards.
Objective, usually based on clear outcomes.


Career, personal goals, education, etc.
Sports, politics, military engagements.

Dependence on others

Often independent of direct competition.
Requires surpassing others.

Compare with Definitions


Achievement of personal goals.
Achieving success in his career was the result of years of dedication.


The defeat of an opponent or overcoming an obstacle.
Her victory over the disease was inspirational.


The attainment of popularity or profit.
The film was a box office success.


An act of conquering.
The victory at the polls was a turning point for the political party.


Fulfillment of an aim or purpose.
Her success in academia was recognized with numerous awards.


A success achieved in a struggle or endeavor against odds.
The lawyer's victory in the high-profile case was unexpected.


Prosperity in financial terms.
His financial success came from smart investments.


Triumph in a battle or contest.
The general led his troops to a decisive victory.


An outcome of an endeavor.
The success of the project was celebrated by all team members.


Winning in a competitive scenario.
The team celebrated their victory in the championship game.


The accomplishment of an aim or purpose
The president had some success in restoring confidence


The term victory (from Latin victoria) originally applied to warfare, and denotes success achieved in personal combat, after military operations in general or, by extension, in any competition. Success in a military campaign is considered a strategic victory, while the success in a military engagement is a tactical victory.


The good or bad outcome of an undertaking
The good or ill success of their maritime enterprises


A defeat of an enemy or opponent
Napolean had many victories in battle.


The achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted
Attributed their success in business to hard work.


A success in a struggle against difficulties or an obstacle
A victory over his greatest fear.


The gaining of fame or prosperity
An artist spoiled by success.


The state or fact of having defeated an opponent or of having achieved success
Soldiers entering the city in victory.


The extent of such gain.


Exultation or celebration at defeating an opponent or accomplishing something
Raised her hands in victory as she crossed the finish line.


One that is successful
The plan was a success.


(uncountable) The condition or state of having won a battle or competition, or having succeeded in an effort; (countable) an instance of this.
It was a great victory on the battlefield.


(Archaic) A result or an outcome.


(Roman goddess) Victory


The achievement of one's aim or goal.
His third attempt to pass the entrance exam was a success.
A glowing success


Used to encourage someone to achieve success, or to celebrate a success or triumph.


(business) Financial profitability.
Don't let success go to your head.


To defeat or triumph over (someone or something).


One who, or that which, achieves assumed goals.
Scholastically, he was a success.
The new range of toys has been a resounding success.


A successful ending of a struggle or contest;
The general always gets credit for his army's victory
The agreement was a triumph for common sense


The fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame.
She is country music's most recent success.


(obsolete) Something which happens as a consequence; the outcome or result.


Act of succeeding; succession.
Then all the sons of these five brethren reignedBy due success.


That which comes after; hence, consequence, issue, or result, of an endeavor or undertaking, whether good or bad; the outcome of effort.
Men . . . that are like to do that, that is committed to them, and to report back again faithfully the success.
Perplexed and troubled at his bad successThe tempter stood.


The favorable or prosperous termination of anything attempted; the attainment of a proposed object; prosperous issue.
Dream of success and happy victory!
Or teach with more success her sonThe vices of the time to shun.
Military successes, above all others, elevate the minds of a people.


That which meets with, or one who accomplishes, favorable results, as a play or a player.


An event that accomplishes its intended purpose;
Let's call heads a success and tails a failure
The election was a remarkable success for Republicans


An attainment that is successful;
His success in the marathon was unexpected
His new play was a great success


A state of prosperity or fame;
He is enjoying great success
He does not consider wealth synonymous with success


A person with a record of successes;
His son would never be the achiever that his father was
Only winners need apply
If you want to be a success you have to dress like a success

Common Curiosities

What is the main difference between success and victory?

Success is about achieving goals across any part of life, while victory is specifically about winning against others.

Can both terms be used interchangeably?

While sometimes used interchangeably in casual conversation, they have distinct meanings and contexts.

Can a person experience success without achieving a victory?

Yes, one can achieve success by meeting personal objectives without necessarily competing against others.

Is victory always a part of success?

Not always; victory is a component of success in competitive fields, but success can also be non-competitive.

How do cultures perceive success and victory?

Cultural perceptions vary; success often aligns with personal or societal values, whereas victory is universally associated with winning.

How do personal values affect the perception of success and victory?

Personal values significantly shape what individuals consider success, emphasizing personal fulfillment over competition, while victory typically remains defined by winning against others.

Can a victory be considered unsuccessful?

Yes, a victory can be seen as unsuccessful if it doesn't align with the larger goals or ethical standards of the participants, illustrating how victory and success can diverge.

Is it possible to measure success in the same way as victory?

Unlike victory, which is often measurable and objective based on specific criteria, success is more subjective and can vary widely from person to person.

What role does competition play in defining victory?

Competition is central to the concept of victory, which involves surpassing others in a contest or battle, unlike success, which may not involve any competitive elements.

How do the concepts of success and victory apply in a team setting?

In team settings, success might be defined by collaborative achievements and synergy, while victory is specifically about outperforming other teams, highlighting the group's competitive edge.

How do failures relate to success and victory?

Failures are often seen as stepping stones in the pursuit of success, providing valuable lessons and growth opportunities, whereas they are typically direct setbacks in achieving victory.

Do success and victory have different impacts on one's legacy?

Yes, success can define a broader legacy based on varied accomplishments and personal fulfillment, while the legacy of a victory often centers on specific instances of overcoming competition.

How does society influence the interpretation of success?

Societal norms and expectations heavily influence what is regarded as success, which can vary between cultures and change over time, focusing on achievements like wealth, status, or education.

What psychological impacts do success and victory have?

Achieving success and victory can boost confidence, satisfaction, and motivation, but they can also lead to pressure and fear of failure, impacting mental health differently based on individual resilience and context.

Can one achieve victory without effort?

Typically, victory requires effort and strategic planning, as it involves overcoming competitors or obstacles, whereas success might sometimes come from fortunate circumstances or external help.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Maham Liaqat
Co-written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

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