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

Toronto police confirmed that four people suffered non-life-threatening injuries, and three people were arrested in the fracas. Time, "'Plant Guy' Has Delivered Kawhi Leonard His Housewarming Gift and the Internet Has Deemed Them Both Heroes," 18 June 2019 This war is a curse that women have suffered from the most. Hiba Barakat, Teen Vogue, "Syrian Journalist Hiba Barakat Explains How Women Are Finding Ways to Survive the War," 18 June 2019 Original reports from the crash indicated that a person may have suffered life-threatening injuries. Cincinnati.com, "Colerain police respond to separate ‘critical incidents,’ including fatal Ronald Reagan Highway crash," 18 June 2019 In a succession of brisk chapters, Fauvelle makes the case that medieval Africa suffered no dearth of cultural accomplishments. Howard W. French, The New York Review of Books, "Africa’s Lost Kingdoms," 17 June 2019 Sweeney also noted that center Joakim Nordstrom suffered a small fracture in his foot but will not require surgery. Nicole Yang, BostonGlobe.com, "Bruins forward Chris Wagner had wrist surgery," 17 June 2019 Senator Richard Blumenthal, who has exaggerated once or twice in his life, said that students, innovators, consumers, and entrepreneurs would all suffer because of the repeal. Christopher Tremoglie, National Review, "We Survived the Net-Neutrality Apocalypse," 17 June 2019 Not until a couple of paupers appear inexplicably off to the side, and some of the aristocrats grow agitated and leave with their suitcases, is there even a hint that people outside this drunken world are suffering and revolution is brewing. Molly Glentzer, Houston Chronicle, "Melody Mennite powers Houston Ballet’s ‘Marie’," 17 June 2019 Stats compiled by Hoops Rumors showed that nine of the 97 suffered the injury twice. Tom Fitzgerald, SFChronicle.com, "Klay Thompson injury: How NBA players have returned after torn ACL," 15 June 2019

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

22 Jun 2019

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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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