15 Words for Someone Who Has Overcome Adversity

Have you been thinking of the right words to qualify someone who has overcome adversity?  You’re not alone.

I have always struggled with being blank when writing speeches, essays, or articles about someone who persevered through adversity. I decided to create a list of befitting words so it would serve as my go-to word bank. I will share this with you.

In your situation, you could want to recognize or praise someone who has faced and triumphed over difficult circumstances, but you are clueless about what adjectives to use.

Worry no more. This article will help expand your vocabulary.

15 Words for Someone Who Has Overcome Adversity

  • Overcomer
  • Survivor
  • Triumph
  • Resilient
  • Tenacious
  • Conqueror
  • Champion
  • Gritty
  • Warrior
  • Victorious
  • Fighter
  • Strong-willed
  • Unstoppable
  • Heroic
  • Indomitable



  • An “overcomer” has endured adversity and actively worked to conquer it. This is why I think it’s the best word for someone who has overcome adversity
  • If the trouble is a life-threatening or extremely challenging situation and the person overcame it, you can call them “Survivor.”
  • “Triumph” is a better word if the person overcame adversity and did so in a way that resulted in significant success or accomplishment.
  • If you’re trying to emphasize the person’s strong inner strength that helps them cope with life’s challenges, then “resilient” would be a better word.


You can see that there are numerous words to use for someone who has overcome adversity, but some are more befitting for certain situations than others.

I encourage you to continue reading because, in the rest of this post, you will learn why I ranked the top seven-word choice options to use when describing people who have faced personal hardships.

Even when it’s just you reflecting on your own experiences or those of loved ones, I will show you how to use these words to encapsulate the journey of overcoming adversity.

We’ll also look at example sentences to further guide you on how they can be used.


Words for Someone Who Has Overcome Adversity

“Overcomer” is the best word for someone who has overcome tough times because it makes them sound strong and successful.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines an overcomer as someone who succeeds in dealing with or gaining control of some problem or difficulty.

It shows they didn’t just survive their problems; they beat them. When we call someone an “overcomer,” it’s like patting them on the back for being brave and tough.

Imagine you’re watching a sports game. One team is losing badly, but suddenly, they start playing amazingly well, score many points, and win the game.

You’d say they overcame their earlier struggles, right?

They didn’t just hang in there; they turned things around and came out on top.

Similarly, when we call someone an “Overcomer” in life, they face tough situations or problems but don’t let those challenges beat them.

They fought back and won.

Take a look at some example sentences that include this term:

  • Yeah, he’s become a true overcomer. It’s incredible how he turned his life around.
  • Amazingly, she’s doing well. She started her own business, got involved in a support group, and thrived personally. She inspires me as an overcomer.


“Survivor” is another powerful word to describe someone who has overcome adversity because it succinctly conveys the essence of their journey and triumph.

When we think of survivors, we envision individuals with immense resilience and inner strength.

This word highlights the person’s ability to withstand and bounce back from adversity.

It is little wonder why the term is defined as someone who continues to live after an accident, illness, or war, according to Britannica.

The best part of using this word instead of others, for me, is that it can inspire others to face difficulties, showing them that overcoming adversity is possible and achievable.

This term is a powerful representation of resilience, strength, and perseverance in facing challenges.

Remember, some contexts, such as job interviews or professional settings, may not be the most appropriate for using the term “survivor” unless it directly relates to the discussion.

Take a look at some example sentences that include this term:

  • I heard Sarah went through a tough battle with cancer, but she’s doing so well now! She’s truly a Survivor. Despite all the hardships and treatments, she never lost her spirit and kept fighting. It’s amazing how she’s come out of it stronger than ever.
  • It was a difficult time for him, but he’s a true Survivor. Despite the setbacks, he worked tirelessly to find a new job, learned new skills, and never gave up on improving his situation. Now he’s back on his feet.


Words for Someone Who Has Overcome Adversity

According to Dictionary.com, Triumph means a great victory or achievement, especially after a long and challenging struggle.

When someone triumphs, they have not just overcome adversity; they have done so spectacularly.

So you can see that the word carries a sense of success and having prevailed against significant obstacles.

I like to think that triumph is associated with historical and personal milestones. Doesn’t it remind us of famous figures who have overcome adversity against all odds?

A good example is how Nelson Mandela triumphed over apartheid in South Africa.

This makes it a powerful word to describe someone who has achieved something extraordinary despite adversity.

Take a look at some example sentences that include this term:

  • I can’t believe she managed to complete that marathon after her injury. She’s truly an inspiration. Her victory is nothing short of a triumph.
  • Wow, that’s fantastic news! His dedication and perseverance have paid off. It’s a true triumph for him.


“Resilient” is the perfect word for someone who has overcome tough times because it means they’re strong and can bounce back from hard situations.

Imagine them like a rubber ball – no matter how hard you throw it on the ground, it doesn’t break; it just comes back up.

Resilient people can change their plans when things go wrong. They don’t get stuck in one way of doing things; they find new ways to solve problems.

This is why you can use this term, especially when the person doesn’t quit when things get hard.

They keep trying, even when it feels impossible. They believe they can make things better.

Remember that people who have overcome adversity often have friends, family, mentors, or a community that provides encouragement, advice, and assistance when needed.

So resilience is often nurtured by strong people around the person.

Take a look at some example sentences that include this term:

  •  You’re incredibly resilient, bro. All that bad luck would crush most people, but you’re staying strong and working to improve things.
  • She is resilient, isn’t she? I mean, most people would have been crushed by such a double blow, but Jennifer just keeps moving forward.


Words for Someone Who Has Overcome Adversity

Cambridge Dictionary defines tenacity as someone unwilling to accept defeat or stop doing or having something.

When a person is described as tenacious, it means they have demonstrated an exceptional ability to hold onto their goals and keep pushing forward

So does the person refuse to give up easily, and they maintain a strong grip on their dreams and aspirations? If yes, then tenacious is the right word to use.

It’s like a person who has faced numerous obstacles in their life, such as financial hardships, personal tragedies, and health issues.

Despite these difficulties, they never lost sight of their goals.

They continued to work tirelessly, showing an extraordinary level of commitment and perseverance.

This unwavering dedication is precisely what “tenacious” represents.

Overall, “tenacious” is a great way to describe someone who has overcome tough challenges, especially because it means they never give up.

Take a look at some example sentences that include this term:

  • Yeah, I know the woman. She’s inspiring. She never stopped trying, no matter what happened. That’s what being tenacious is all about.
  • Did you see that documentary about the athlete returning from a serious injury to win the championship? That athlete was incredibly tenacious. I mean the one who never quit, even when everyone thought they couldn’t make it because of the injury.


“Conqueror” is a great choice to describe someone who has beaten tough times.

Vocabulary.com says conqueror means the winner of a war or the leader of a vanquishing army, but we can argue for someone who wins.

From the word’s meaning, you can see that it sums up the idea of winning and success clearly and strongly.

When you call someone a conqueror, they didn’t just face tough times; they came out on top, showing they’ve beaten their challenges.

Also, “Conqueror” implies that the person is strong, determined, and resilient.

It says they faced problems and showed bravery and grit to overcome them. So, it fits well for someone who has gone through hard times and shown their inner strength.

Remember, people who beat tough times often inspire others.

Meanwhile, if the person’s struggle is related to mental health issues, addiction, or trauma, the last thing you want to do is use language that downplays the complexity of their experiences.

Terms like “survivor” or “overcomer” may be more appropriate and respectful than “conqueror” in such a context.

Take a look at some example sentences that include this term:

  • I can’t believe how far you’ve come after everything you’ve been through. You’re not just a survivor; you’re a conqueror.
  • I heard you managed to turn your life around after those setbacks. You’re a conqueror. Your feat made me realize that adversity doesn’t have to define our future; we can shape it.


Words for Someone Who Has Overcome Adversity

The word “Champion” is another ideal way to describe someone who has overcome adversity because it signifies winning despite tough circumstances.

Think of a champion as someone who faced problems and hard times but still came out on top.

When we call someone a champion, it’s like saying they’re a winner in the game of life, even when the odds are against them.

It’s a positive word that encourages others to believe that they can conquer their difficulties, too.

If you look at it from another angle, you’ll see that a champion is often seen as a role model.

They inspire others by showing that you can turn tough situations into opportunities for growth and success.

They prove that adversity doesn’t have to hold you back; it can make you stronger.

Meanwhile, be cautious not to overuse the term “champion.” If used too frequently, it can lose its impact and become clichéd.

Reserve it for situations where someone truly exemplifies remarkable resilience and success in the face of adversity.

Take a look at some example sentences that include this term:

  • Yes, she’s a champion. She didn’t give up when things got tough, and now she’s successful.


You may find yourself writing a speech or article, and you want to acknowledge or honor a person who demonstrated exceptional resilience and determination. When you run out of words, you can always refer to this article.

So, I encourage you to bookmark this article for future purposes.

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