suffer

verb
suf·​fer | \ ˈsə-fər How to pronounce suffer (audio) \
suffered; suffering\ ˈsə-​f(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce suffering (audio) \

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 How to pronounce sufferable (audio) \ adjective
sufferableness noun
sufferably \ ˈsə-​f(ə-​)rə-​blē How to pronounce sufferably (audio) \ adverb
sufferer \ ˈsə-​fər-​ər How to pronounce sufferer (audio) \ 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

Microsoft names a single game as an example: Destiny 2, which has suffered from content issues unrelated to performance. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Recent Windows 10 patch brings good, bad performance news for PC gamers," 7 Mar. 2019 The upgrades at the corners, along with the young talent already on the roster, have excited a long-suffering Padres fan base that’s never experienced a World Series title nor seen a playoff series victory since the 1998 NLCS win over Atlanta. John Marshall, The Seattle Times, "Padres buzzing over impending arrival of Manny Machado," 20 Feb. 2019 This shows not everyone who plays football as a teen suffers consequences, and researchers still need to better understand how much exposure to football tackles is too much. Brian Resnick, Vox, "What a lifetime of playing football can do to the human brain," 4 Feb. 2019 Ganfield, who was medically discharged in 2005 and suffers from visual impairment and epilepsy, says the duke and duchess will make perfect parents. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry & Duchess Meghan Share Baby Joy at Event Close to Harry's Heart," 8 Feb. 2019 This will give you a chance to see if your dog suffers from motion sickness or exhibits any nervous or anxious behaviors about traveling. Laurren Welch, Country Living, "Everything You Need to Know About Road-Tripping With Your Dog," 31 Jan. 2019 But the fact that she's suffered from acne and taking a lot of public criticism for her skin issues is absolutely true. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Kendall Jenner Says Suffering From Acne Was 'Debilitating'," 18 Jan. 2019 Scott Olson/Getty Images We were also reminded this year that after storms pass and flames burn out, people can continue suffering from a disaster. Umair Irfan, Vox, "What we learned from the disasters that hammered the US in 2018," 27 Dec. 2018 Terry Jo, who worked as a midwife, had suffered two miscarriages after the birth of her daughters, but the results of her amniocentesis and chromosome testing had come back normal. Shelley Levitt, Woman's Day, "These 4 Inspirational Women Went to Great Lengths for Their Kids," 4 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

16 Mar 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 How to pronounce suffer (audio) \
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

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