suf·​fer·​ing | \ ˈsə-f(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce suffering (audio) \

Definition of suffering

1 : the state or experience of one that suffers
2 : pain

Choose the Right Synonym for suffering

distress, suffering, misery, agony mean the state of being in great trouble. distress implies an external and usually temporary cause of great physical or mental strain and stress. the hurricane put everyone in great distress suffering implies conscious endurance of pain or distress. the suffering of famine victims misery stresses the unhappiness attending especially sickness, poverty, or loss. the homeless live with misery every day agony suggests pain too intense to be borne. in agony over the death of their child

Examples of suffering in a Sentence

ways to alleviate human suffering They hope these new drugs will help to bring an end to the suffering of arthritis patients. His lawsuit seeks damages for pain and suffering. the sufferings of the dying
Recent Examples on the Web Mariupol endured some of the worst suffering of the war and became a worldwide symbol of defiance. Arkansas Online, 21 May 2022 The city endured some of the worst suffering of the war and became a worldwide symbol of defiance. Oleksandr Stashevskyi,, 20 May 2022 The city endured some of the worst suffering of the war. Elena Becatoros, Chicago Tribune, 20 May 2022 Pope Francis has spoken repeatedly about the suffering of Ukrainians. Stefano Pitrelli, Washington Post, 20 May 2022 Huerta, known as one of Chavez's closest companions throughout his activism, spoke to the crowd at the Friday event about how Chavez risked his life in support of the farmworker movement, to show the suffering of an entire group. Laura Daniella Sepulveda, The Arizona Republic, 13 May 2022 In an impassioned afterword, Ms. Nayeri implores adult readers who have shared the book with children to do more to alleviate the suffering of people around the world who have been cruelly exiled to places not of their choosing. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, 29 Apr. 2022 Mariupol has been the site of some of the worst suffering of the war, and the satellite images released Thursday hinted at even more. David Keyton And Yesica Fisch, ajc, 22 Apr. 2022 The city has seized worldwide attention as the scene of some of the worst suffering of the war, including deadly airstrikes on a maternity hospital and a theater. Yesica Fisch, Anchorage Daily News, 22 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'suffering.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of suffering

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for suffering

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The first known use of suffering was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near suffering

suffer fools gladly


suffer in silence

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Statistics for suffering

Last Updated

25 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Suffering.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for suffering


suf·​fer·​ing | \ ˈsə-fə-riŋ, ˈsə-friŋ \

Kids Definition of suffering

: pain experienced during an injury or loss


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