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 to sue 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Of course, if profits were predicated on a meritocracy of useful goods and services, Berkley would sue Robert Reich for millions. David Harsanyi, National Review, "Profit Margins Save Lives," 5 May 2021 If news outlets cover a criminal court case but fail to report on a defendant's acquittal, the defendant could sue for damages of up to $10,000 from each media company. Christian Wade, Washington Examiner, "Maine bill would mandate news coverage," 28 Apr. 2021 LaDuke and other pipeline protesters plan to sue some pipeline counties, alleging unconstitutional harassment by sheriffs' deputies, including strip searches. Brooks Johnson, Star Tribune, "Enbridge shells out $750K to law enforcement for Line 3 protest costs," 24 Apr. 2021 Family members — along with other tenants from the building — later sue the landlord for failing to address fire safety issues. Cecilia Reyes, chicagotribune.com, "42 fires, 61 deaths: A story of failed city oversight," 23 Apr. 2021 But if a pattern-and-practice investigation turns up widespread violations of constitutional rights in a particular agency, the Justice Department can sue the city in federal court to impose reforms. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Can Merrick Garland Save the Minneapolis Police Department?," 21 Apr. 2021 Marion County Health Department can sue for $1,000, but that's a fraction of what a businesses can make during the course of a busy weekend. Binghui Huang, The Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis and the NCAA meticulously planned March Madness. Except for the workers.," 11 Apr. 2021 If a public company professes a commitment to gender equity, but is sued for pay discrimination, can shareholders also sue for fraud? The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Goldman Heads to the Supreme Court," 26 Mar. 2021 The first battle ever to use the heat-seeking missile proved the guidance system’s efficacy, and two weeks later, China would sue for peace. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, "The Almost-Unbelievable True Story of the Sidewinder Missile," 21 Mar. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for sue

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for sue

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sue. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for sue

sue

verb

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

More from Merriam-Webster on sue

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sue

Nglish: Translation of sue for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sue for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sue

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