suffer

verb
suf·​fer | \ ˈsə-fər \
suffered; suffering\ ˈsə-​f(ə-​)riŋ \

Definition of suffer

transitive verb

1a : to submit to or be forced to endure suffer martyrdom
b : to feel keenly : labor under suffer thirst
3 : to put up with especially as inevitable or unavoidable
4 : to allow especially by reason of indifference the eagle suffers little birds to sing— William Shakespeare

intransitive verb

1 : to endure death, pain, or distress
2 : to sustain loss or damage
3 : to be subject to disability or handicap

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Other Words from suffer

sufferable \ ˈsə-​f(ə-​)rə-​bəl \ adjective
sufferableness noun
sufferably \ ˈsə-​f(ə-​)rə-​blē \ adverb
sufferer \ ˈsə-​fər-​ər \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of suffer in a Sentence

He died instantly and did not suffer. He suffered a heart attack and died instantly. She suffered an injury during the game. We suffered a great deal during the war. I hate to see a child suffer. She suffered through another one of their long visits. The team suffered a defeat in the play-offs. Their relationship suffered because of her work.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Quality of housing declined, maintenance suffered, and the supply of affordable homes diminished. Diana Budds, Curbed, "3 ways architects can improve social equity," 8 Nov. 2018 It was revealed that Kelly Severide's (Taylor Kinney) father, Benny Severide (Treat Williams), suffered a stroke and died. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'Chicago Fire' Shocked Everyone With This Devastating Death," 5 Nov. 2018 Get your flu shot now to lower your chances of suffering through the flu. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "Is It Too Late to Get Your Flu Shot? Experts Weigh In," 3 Oct. 2018 There’s one clear example already: Shares of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi have suffered even more than Apple’s recently, spiraling down more than 20% this month against a 3% drop for its storied U.S. rival. ... Jacky Wong, WSJ, "Apple’s Pain Isn’t Xiaomi’s Gain," 14 Jan. 2019 And that’s not exactly the hottest feeling in the world, so my dating life suffered. Maria Del Russo, Glamour, "I Got Rid of All My Old Underwear and It Was Lifechanging," 10 Jan. 2019 MMOBR Daybreak, makers of Everquest and H1Z1, just suffered a round of layoffs last week. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Heroes of the Storm winds down, Monster Hunter adds The Witcher's Geralt," 14 Dec. 2018 Some fans suffering from Timmy withdrawal were sated when Hot Summer Nights, a 90's-era romp shot before the CMBYN craze took shape, landed in theaters. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "How Did Timothée Chalamet Spend 2018? We’re So Glad You Asked," 10 Dec. 2018 According to a 1989 study, 65 percent of Pearl Harbor survivors still suffered from PTSD flashbacks decades after the attack. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Pearl Harbor Still Holds a Few Mysteries," 7 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'suffer.' 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 suffer

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for suffer

Middle English sufferen, suffren, borrowed from Anglo-French suffrir, going back to Vulgar Latin *sufferīre, re-formation of Latin sufferre "to submit to, endure," from suf-, assimilated form of sub- sub- + ferre "to carry, bear" — more at bear entry 2

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Statistics for suffer

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for suffer

The first known use of suffer was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for suffer

suffer

verb

English Language Learners 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

suffer

verb
suf·​fer | \ ˈsə-fər \
suffered; suffering

Kids Definition of suffer

1 : to feel or endure pain, illness, or injury She suffers from arthritis.
2 : to experience something unpleasant Wilbur was merely suffering the doubts and fears that often go with finding a new friend.— E. B. White, Charlotte's Web
3 : to bear loss or damage Business suffered during the storm.
4 : to become worse His grades are suffering.
5 : permit entry 1 sense 1 “I have done what man could. Suffer me to go.”— Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee

Other Words from suffer

sufferer \ ˈsə-​fər-​ər \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on suffer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with suffer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for suffer

Spanish Central: Translation of suffer

Nglish: Translation of suffer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of suffer for Arabic Speakers

Comments on suffer

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