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verb suf·fer \ˈsə-fər\

Simple Definition of suffer

  • : to experience pain, illness, or injury

  • : to experience something unpleasant (such as defeat, loss, or damage)

  • : to become worse because of being badly affected by something

Full Definition of suffer

suf·feredsuf·fer·ing play \-f(ə-)riŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  to submit to or be forced to endure <suffer martyrdom>b :  to feel keenly :  labor under <suffer thirst>

  3. 2 :  undergo, experience

  4. 3 :  to put up with especially as inevitable or unavoidable

  5. 4 :  to allow especially by reason of indifference <the eagle suffers little birds to sing — Shakespeare>

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 :  to endure death, pain, or distress

  8. 2 :  to sustain loss or damage

  9. 3 :  to be subject to disability or handicap

suf·fer·able play \ˈsə-f(ə-)rə-bəl\ adjective
suf·fer·able·ness noun
suf·fer·ably play \-blē\ adverb
suf·fer·er play \ˈsə-fər-ər\ noun

Examples of suffer

  1. He died instantly and did not suffer.

  2. He suffered a heart attack and died instantly.

  3. She suffered an injury during the game.

  4. We suffered a great deal during the war.

  5. I hate to see a child suffer.

  6. She suffered through another one of their long visits.

  7. The team suffered a defeat in the play-offs.

  8. Their relationship suffered because of her work.

Origin of suffer

Middle English suffren, from Anglo-French suffrir, from Vulgar Latin *sufferire, from Latin sufferre, from sub- up + ferre to bear — more at sub-, bear

First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of suffer

bear, suffer, endure, abide, tolerate, stand mean to put up with something trying or painful. bear usually implies the power to sustain without flinching or breaking <forced to bear a tragic loss>. suffer often suggests acceptance or passivity rather than courage or patience in bearing <suffering many insults>. endure implies continuing firm or resolute through trials and difficulties <endured years of rejection>. abide suggests acceptance without resistance or protest <cannot abide their rudeness>. tolerate suggests overcoming or successfully controlling an impulse to resist, avoid, or resent something injurious or distasteful <refused to tolerate such treatment>. stand emphasizes even more strongly the ability to bear without discomposure or flinching <unable to stand teasing>.

Rhymes with suffer

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February 7, 2016

a slight offense

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