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 Defending 1,500-meter champion Elijah Manangoi of Kenya pulled out of the upcoming athletics world championships in Doha, Qatar, Sept. 27 because of an ankle injury suffered during his training that will take 4-8 weeks to heal . . BostonGlobe.com, "Virginia coach declines raise," 17 Sep. 2019 Fellow 2018 first-rounder Victoria Vivians is progressing well from a knee injury suffered in Israel that forced her to miss the entire WNBA season. Akeem Glaspie, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana Fever have young assets, hope to add No. 1 pick to accelerate rebuild," 16 Sep. 2019 Rodney Smith hurt an oblique and exited in the second quarter; Mo Ibrahim injured his foot in practice last week and didn’t play; and Shannon Brooks remains sidelined with the knee injury suffered last October. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Gophers offense will continue to run first, pass when necessary," 15 Sep. 2019 That task was made tougher since Oakland will be without rookie safety Johnathan Abram, the hard-hitting first-rounder who underwent surgery for a shoulder injury suffered in the season-opening win. Jon Becker, The Mercury News, "Live updates: Raiders fade, fall to Chiefs 28-10," 15 Sep. 2019 The Gamecocks lost starting quarterback Jake Bentley for the season because of a foot injury suffered on the final play of a season-opening loss to North Carolina. Mike Rodak | Mrodak@al.com, al, "A look at the key factors in Alabama-South Carolina," 14 Sep. 2019 Hamstring strains are one of the most common—and frustrating—soft-tissue injuries suffered by athletes. Hayden Carpenter, Outside Online, "7 Exercises for Stronger Hamstrings," 13 Sep. 2019 The team's best defensive player, linebacker Markus Bailey, is out for the season with a non-contact knee injury suffered in Tuesday's practice. Richard Dean, Houston Chronicle, "College football preview: TCU at Purdue," 13 Sep. 2019 Wide receiver Mike Williams missed his second consecutive practice Thursday dealing with a knee injury suffered against the Colts. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, "Injured Chargers safety Derwin James aims to get his foot back in door this season," 12 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

26 Oct 2019

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
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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