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 patient had a history of underlying lung disease and suffered a sever lung injury associated with vaping THC products, Minnesota State Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield said in the press release. Hollie Silverman, CNN, "California man dies in seventh vaping-related illness," 17 Sep. 2019 Authorities say one person suffered a minor injury while evacuating. Washington Post, "Despite panic, no evidence of shooting at movie theater," 16 Sep. 2019 Few teams had as rough of an offseason as Berlin, which lost four All-Courant honorees to graduation, two to transfers, and saw its starting quarterback, Nick Melville, suffer a long-term injury. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, "High school football: Maloney, Southington look reloaded; Berlin will need to find fresh faces to contend, and other takeaways from Week 1," 16 Sep. 2019 It was announced Monday that QB Drew Brees, who suffered ligament damage to his thumb on his throwing hand, would need to undergo surgery and is expected to miss six weeks of action. Ryan R. Bonini, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Drew Brees will miss time, Saints' Super Bowl odds to be hit hard," 16 Sep. 2019 Akada, 82, who suffers from symptoms of Alzheimer’s, had spent the past 3½ years there. Glenn Nelson, The Seattle Times, "Battle for ‘soul’ of Seattle’s Japanese American community as Keiro Northwest nursing home closes," 16 Sep. 2019 Authorities say one person suffered a minor injury while evacuating. Time, "Despite Panic, Authorities Find No Evidence of Shooting at Virginia Movie Theater," 15 Sep. 2019 But after seemingly putting their differences aside in February, the bickering was reignited when Jackman suffered a minor injury while playing the fan-favorite superhero during one of his stops on his one-man tour The Man. Georgia Slater, PEOPLE.com, "Ryan Reynolds Praises 'Kindest' and 'Most Talented' Pal Hugh Jackman: 'There's Nobody Better'," 14 Sep. 2019 Gopin lost two teeth and suffered facial and leg injuries. Robert Cherry, National Review, "The Hate-Crime Spike in New York City Has Nothing to Do with White Supremacy," 9 Sep. 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

12 Oct 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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