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

The highest, Arizona’s David Johnson ($9.75 million), is a great player but one who suffered a devastating knee injury in 2016 and whose team had the first overall pick in April. Pat Leonard, courant.com, "Giants eventually must decide how big a contract extension to offer Saquon Barkley," 15 July 2019 Australia’s Astra Sharma left the roster due to an injury suffered at Wimbledon. Glae Thien, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Aviators doubles ace bucks TeamTennis turnover trend," 12 July 2019 The most serious injury was suffered by a 27-year-old man from the Spanish city of Valencia who was gored in the arm. Washington Post, "6 hospitalized after slow fifth bull run in Pamplona," 11 July 2019 The most serious injury was suffered by a 27-year-old man from the Spanish city of Valencia who was gored in the arm. NBC News, "One gored, 5 more hurt in running of bulls during San Fermin festival in Pamplona," 11 July 2019 The most serious injury was suffered by a 27-year-old man from the Spanish city of Valencia who was gored in the arm. Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY, "Pamplona veterans protest running of the bulls as too safe, despite numerous injuries," 11 July 2019 Bouton, who suffered a stroke in 2012, had been in a years-long battle with cerebral amyloid angiopathy. Fox News, "Jim Bouton, ex-Yankees pitcher and tell-all author, dead at 80," 11 July 2019 Martin is not releasing the name of the firefighter who suffered heat exhaustion, but said the firefighter was treated at a hospital and released. Jeanne Houck, Cincinnati.com, "No cause yet known in Anderson Twp. fire that caused $150,000 in damage," 11 July 2019 Critics have pointed out that many Americans, black and white—not to mention others—moved here only recently; that slaves weren’t the only people who suffered mistreatment; that recipients would be paid in part with their own taxes; and so on. Liam Warner, WSJ, "Reparations and the Spirit of 1789," 11 July 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

20 Jul 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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