Thesaurus

suffer

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of suffer

1 to come to a knowledge of (something) by living through it
  • willingly suffered hardships so that their children would have a better life

Synonyms for suffer

Words Related to suffer

Phrases Synonymous with suffer

2 to feel deep sadness or mental pain
  • the husband suffered deeply at the mere suggestion that he had been unfaithful

Synonyms for suffer

Words Related to suffer

Phrases Synonymous with suffer

Near Antonyms for suffer

3 to give permission for or to approve of
  • contends that the death penalty is something that no civilized society should suffer

Synonyms for suffer

Words Related to suffer

Phrases Synonymous with suffer

Near Antonyms for suffer

Antonyms for suffer

4 to fail to prevent (some behavior on someone's part) especially from neglect or indifference
  • I will not suffer you to insult me so!

Synonyms for suffer

Words Related to suffer

Phrases Synonymous with suffer

Near Antonyms for suffer

Antonyms for suffer

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About suffer

How does the verb suffer differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of suffer are abide, bear, endure, stand, and tolerate. While all these words mean "to put up with something trying or painful," suffer often suggests acceptance or passivity rather than courage or patience in bearing.

suffering many insults

When is it sensible to use abide instead of suffer?

While in some cases nearly identical to suffer, abide suggests acceptance without resistance or protest.

cannot abide their rudeness

When can bear be used instead of suffer?

In some situations, the words bear and suffer are roughly equivalent. However, bear usually implies the power to sustain without flinching or breaking.

forced to bear a tragic loss

Where would endure be a reasonable alternative to suffer?

The words endure and suffer can be used in similar contexts, but endure implies continuing firm or resolute through trials and difficulties.

endured years of rejection

When is stand a more appropriate choice than suffer?

The synonyms stand and suffer are sometimes interchangeable, but stand emphasizes even more strongly the ability to bear without discomposure or flinching.

unable to stand teasing

When would tolerate be a good substitute for suffer?

The words tolerate and suffer are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, tolerate suggests overcoming or successfully controlling an impulse to resist, avoid, or resent something injurious or distasteful.

refused to tolerate such treatment

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Time Traveler for suffer

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Suffer.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/suffer. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on suffer

Dictionary: Definition of suffer

Nglish: Translation of suffer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of suffer for Arabic Speakers

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