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 In March, Alley Cat Allies, a nonprofit group based in Maryland, sued in federal court in Washington to stop the plan. Patricia Mazzei Erika P. Rodriguez, New York Times, 8 June 2024 Eventually, Carrillo sued and the case settled for $1.2 million. Keri Blakinger, Los Angeles Times, 8 June 2024 If the library doesn’t move the material within 60 days, the requester can then sue the library and receive $250 in statutory damages, plus additional damages and relief. Becca Savransky, Idaho Statesman, 7 June 2024 One man from Jesup, Georgia, has already filed suit against Savannah, citing a law that allows citizens to sue cities that enact gun ordinances. Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for sue 

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 Jun. 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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