sue

verb
\ ˈsü How to pronounce sue (audio) \
sued; suing

Definition of sue

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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 tosue for peace
3 : to pay court : woo he loved … but sued in vain— William Wordsworth

Sue

biographical name
\ ˈsü How to pronounce Sue (audio) , ˈsᵫ \

Definition of Sue (Entry 2 of 2)

Eugène 1804–1857 originally Marie-Joseph Sue French novelist

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from sue

Verb

suer noun

Examples of sue in a Sentence

Verb 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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This past weekend, Tesla began building vehicles again after CEO Elon Musk announced that the company was suing the county. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "Report: Alameda County Officials Sent Letter to Tesla to Halt Factory Production," 12 May 2020 Back in May 2016, the American Association of Political Consultants, a nonpartisan trade group, sued in federal court. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "Is There a Constitutional Right to Make Robocalls?," 6 May 2020 Although many companies were successfully sued in the early 2000s for making subjective employment decisions in hiring, pay and promotion, a Supreme Court ruling in 2012 made those claims nearly impossible to bring as a class action. Elizabeth C. Tippett, The Conversation, "Pants or no pants? Tips for virtual job interviews from home," 1 May 2020 Chafing at the loss, the Libyans sued on grounds that they had been misled, but an indulgent British judge let the bank off the hook, ruling that the Libyans had only themselves to blame. Andrew Cockburn, Harper's Magazine, "The Malaysian Job," 27 Apr. 2020 Corbyn never formulated a convincing answer to why there was a backlog of unresolved disciplinary cases related to anti-Semitism and why the party’s treatment of whistleblowers spurred them to sue it for defamation. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, "Healing the Rift With Britain’s Jews," 9 Apr. 2020 The Trump haters practically sued him for medical malpractice. Deroy Murdock, National Review, "Trump’s Critics Attack His Optimistic Case for Hydroxychloroquine," 7 Apr. 2020 Amidst rapid changes surrounding in-person voting as concerns of novel coronavirus spread, Democratic groups are suing to expand voter access at the polls in some states. Kendall Karson, ABC News, "Democrats sue to expand voter access amid spread of coronavirus," 19 Mar. 2020 Players led by Alex Morgan sued in March 2019, claiming they have not been paid equally under their collective bargaining agreement to what the men’s national team receives under its labor deal. Anne M. Peterson And Ronald Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Federal judge dismisses women's soccer claim of unequal pay," 2 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sue.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of sue

Verb

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

History and Etymology for sue

Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sue

Time Traveler for sue

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for sue

Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sue. Accessed 24 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sue

sue

verb
How to pronounce Sue (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sue

: to use a legal process by which you try to get a court of law to force a person, company, or organization that has treated you unfairly or hurt you in some way to give you something or to do something : to bring a lawsuit against someone or something

sue

verb
\ ˈsü How to pronounce sue (audio) \
sued; suing

Kids Definition of sue

: to seek justice or right by bringing legal action

sue

verb
sued; suing

Legal Definition of sue

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to bring an action in court

History and Etymology for sue

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on sue

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sue

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sue

Spanish Central: Translation of sue

Nglish: Translation of sue for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sue for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sue

What made you want to look up sue? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!