sued; suing

transitive verb

1
a
: to seek justice or right from (a person) by legal process
specifically : to bring an action against
b
: to proceed with and follow up (a legal action) to proper termination
2
archaic : to pay court or suit to : woo
3
obsolete : to make petition to or for

intransitive verb

1
: to take legal proceedings in court
2
: to make a request or application : plead
usually used with for or to
sue for peace
3
: to pay court : woo
he loved … but sued in vainWilliam Wordsworth
suer noun

Examples of sue in a Sentence

Some people sue over the most minor things. People injured in accidents caused by the defective tire have threatened to sue. They've threatened to sue the company. He is suing the doctor who performed the unnecessary surgery.
Recent Examples on the Web Monterey County ag officials sued over farm fumigants near Latino schools. Ryan Fonseca, Los Angeles Times, 12 Apr. 2024 The families of victims also sued the shooters’ families and two people who allegedly helped the teens get access to guns, settling the case for $2.5 million. Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post, 12 Apr. 2024 Carano sued the studio in February, arguing that Disney unlawfully retaliated against her for expressing her politics, as opposed to Disney’s preferred ideological views. J. Kim Murphy, Variety, 11 Apr. 2024 In 1997, the victims' families sued O.J., who was found liable in their deaths. Liam Quinn, Peoplemag, 11 Apr. 2024 Carano, who was fired in 2021, sued Lucasfilm and its parent company The Walt Disney Co. in February. USA TODAY, 11 Apr. 2024 The 2023 livestream and occasional network coverage of Gwyneth Paltrow’s trial after being sued for a skiing accident was simply the logical conclusion of what the Simpson trial coverage started. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 11 Apr. 2024 Historian Deborah Lipstadt had been sued for calling British academic David Irving a Holocaust denier in one of her books. Leonardo Bevilacqua, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 Apr. 2024 The company has been accused online of stealing designs from independent designers and was sued by Forever 21 for copyright infringement in 2016. Callie Holtermann, New York Times, 9 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sue.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English sewen, siuen to follow, strive for, petition, from Anglo-French sivre, siure, from Vulgar Latin *sequere, from Latin sequi to follow; akin to Greek hepesthai to follow, Sanskrit sacate he accompanies

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of sue was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near sue

Cite this Entry

“Sue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sue. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

sue

verb
sued; suing
1
: to seek justice from a person by bringing a legal action
2
: to make a request or application : plead
usually used with for or to
the weaker nation sued for peace
suer noun

Legal Definition

sue

verb
sued; suing

transitive verb

: to bring an action against : seek justice from by legal process

intransitive verb

: to bring an action in court
Etymology

Anglo-French suer suire, literally, to follow, pursue, from Old French sivre, ultimately from Latin sequi to follow

Biographical Definition

Sue

biographical name

ˈsü How to pronounce Sue (audio)
ˈsᵫ
Eugène 1804–1857 originally Marie-Joseph Sue French novelist

More from Merriam-Webster on sue

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