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

In 2018, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), 26 transgender people suffered violent deaths in the U.S., a majority of them were black trans women. Gina Martinez, Time, "Two Recent Murders of Black Trans Women in Texas Reveal a Nationwide Crisis, Advocates Say," 7 June 2019 The woman suffered nausea and dizziness and was transported to a trauma center with no serious injuries. Fox News, "VIDEO: Arizona helicopter rescue gurney carrying woman, 74, spins uncontrollably midair," 5 June 2019 Walmart, which employs one in 10 retail workers in the U.S. and has close to 5,000 stores, has long suffered criticism for its labor policies. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Walmart's Signature Blue Vests Are Getting A Big Redesign," 5 June 2019 The little girl suffered scrape on her arm in the incident, court records state. Michelle L. Quinn, Post-Tribune, "Woman charged with kidnapping girl, 6, at Gary park," 5 June 2019 Two of Kennedy's friends, ages 24 and 30, suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds. Sydney Czyzon, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Willie Barnes to walk free after sentencing hearing for Water Street shooting," 5 June 2019 Bonnie suffers the arrival of her mother, Elizabeth (Crystal Fox). Darren Franich, EW.com, "Big Little Lies season 2 is brilliantly acted and all over the place: EW review," 5 June 2019 Drue Jones, 60, suffered traumatic injuries as a result of the accident in the Dickerson area in upcounty Montgomery, said Pete Piringer, spokesman for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service. Washington Post, "Man charged with murder in stabbing," 5 June 2019 The pilot suffered minor injuries, but the the three people in the home at the time were not injured, Mayor Mark Boughton and Danbury fire officials said later Tuesday night. Zach Murdock, courant.com, "Electric glider loses power, crashes into roof of Danbury home," 5 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

8 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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