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 For now, the deal is expected to bring some relief to Chinese manufacturers, who have suffered from tariffs that made their goods more expensive. Michelle Toh, CNN, "China just agreed to buy $200 billion worth of US goods," 16 Jan. 2020 The View host Joy Behar claimed Democratic voters would prefer to vote for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who recently suffered a heart attack, instead of a woman. Spencer Neale, Washington Examiner, "Joy Behar: Democrats prefer '78-year-old socialist who just had a heart attack’ to a woman," 14 Jan. 2020 Upon arrival, Ward, who had suffered from an enlarged heart during her pregnancy with a baby that died at birth, was determined to be unresponsive and soon after, pronounced dead. Tanya A. Christian, Essence, "Milwaukee Woman Dies After Being Left Unattended In Emergency Room," 13 Jan. 2020 Pai founder Sarah Brown, who suffers from chronic urticaria, created this brand to help people manage the side effects of allergies and nourish sensitive skin without potential irritants. Taylore Glynn, Marie Claire, "Niche Skincare for Your Niche Skin Needs," 9 Jan. 2020 But only 17% of people who suffer discrimination actually end up filing a complaint, research shows. Jacqueline Rabe Thomas, ProPublica, "How Wealthy Towns Keep People With Housing Vouchers Out," 9 Jan. 2020 Please do your research and listen to the stories of people who have suffered with it for years. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Justin Bieber Has Lyme Disease and Says He's “Overcoming” it," 9 Jan. 2020 Leach was fired by Texas Tech after being accused of mistreating a player, Adam Jones — the son of former ESPN announcer and NFL player Craig James — who had suffered a concussion. Ralph D. Russo, Houston Chronicle, "Mississippi State hires Mike Leach away from Washington St," 9 Jan. 2020 Here are some places where anyone can give financial support that will help fight the bushfires and assist people who are suffering because of them. Elizabeth King, Allure, "Where to Donate Money and Resources During the Devastating Australian Bushfires," 8 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for suffer

Time Traveler

The first known use of suffer was in the 13th century

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Statistics for suffer

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Suffer.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suffered. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for suffer

suffer

verb
How to pronounce suffer (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for suffer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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