What does suffer mean?

Definitions for suffer
ˈsʌf ərsuf·fer

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word suffer.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. suffer, endureverb

    undergo or be subjected to

    "He suffered the penalty"; "Many saints suffered martyrdom"

  2. suffer, sustain, have, getverb

    undergo (as of injuries and illnesses)

    "She suffered a fracture in the accident"; "He had an insulin shock after eating three candy bars"; "She got a bruise on her leg"; "He got his arm broken in the scuffle"

  3. sufferverb

    experience (emotional) pain

    "Every time her husband gets drunk, she suffers"

  4. digest, endure, stick out, stomach, bear, stand, tolerate, support, brook, abide, suffer, put upverb

    put up with something or somebody unpleasant

    "I cannot bear his constant criticism"; "The new secretary had to endure a lot of unprofessional remarks"; "he learned to tolerate the heat"; "She stuck out two years in a miserable marriage"

  5. sufferverb

    get worse

    "His grades suffered"

  6. suffer, hurtverb

    feel pain or be in pain

  7. hurt, ache, sufferverb

    feel physical pain

    "Were you hurting after the accident?"

  8. sufferverb

    feel unwell or uncomfortable

    "She is suffering from the hot weather"

  9. sufferverb

    be given to

    "She suffers from a tendency to talk too much"

  10. suffer, meetverb

    undergo or suffer

    "meet a violent death"; "suffer a terrible fate"

  11. suffer, loseverb

    be set at a disadvantage

    "This author really suffers in translation"


  1. sufferverb

    To undergo hardship.

  2. sufferverb

    To feel pain.

    At least he didn't suffer when he died in the car crash.

  3. sufferverb

    To have a disease or condition.

    He's suffering from the flu this week.

  4. sufferverb

    To become worse.

    If you keep partying like this, your school-work will suffer.

  5. sufferverb

    To endure, undergo.

  6. sufferverb

    To allow.

  7. Etymology: From suffren, from suffrir, from suffero, from sub- + fero, from bʰer-.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To SUFFERverb

    Etymology: suffero, Latin; souffrir, French.

    A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment. Prov. xix.

    A woman suffered many things of physicians, and spent all she had. Mark v. 26.

    Obedience impos’d,
    On penalty of death, and suffering death. John Milton.

    Our spirit and strength entire
    Strongly to suffer and support our pains. John Milton.

    He wond’red that your Lordship
    Would suffer him to spend his youth at home. William Shakespeare.

    Oft have I seen a hot o’erweening cur,
    Run back and bite, because he was withheld:
    Who being suffered, with the bear’s fell paw,
    Hath clapt his tail betwixt his legs and cry’d. William Shakespeare.

    My duty cannot suffer
    T’ obey in all your daughter’s hard commands. William Shakespeare.

    Rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Lev.

    I suffer them to enter and possess. John Milton.

    He that will suffer himself to be informed by observation, will find few signs of a soul accustomed to much thinking in a new born child. John Locke.

    The air now must suffer change. John Milton.

  2. To Sufferverb

    My breast I arm to overcome by suffering. John Milton.

    Prudence and good breeding are in all stations necessary; and most young men suffer in the want of them. John Locke.

    The father was first condemned to suffer upon a day appointed, and the son afterwards the day following. Edward Hyde.

    He thus
    Was forc’d to suffer for himself and us!
    Heir to his father’s sorrows with his crown. Dryden.

    Publick business suffers by private infirmities, and kingdoms fall into weaknesses by the diseases or decays of those that manage them. William Temple.


  1. suffer

    Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, may be an experience of unpleasantness or aversion, possibly associated with the perception of harm or threat of harm in an individual. Suffering is the basic element that makes up the negative valence of affective phenomena. The opposite of suffering is pleasure or happiness. Suffering is often categorized as physical or mental. It may come in all degrees of intensity, from mild to intolerable. Factors of duration and frequency of occurrence usually compound that of intensity. Attitudes toward suffering may vary widely, in the sufferer or other people, according to how much it is regarded as avoidable or unavoidable, useful or useless, deserved or undeserved. Suffering occurs in the lives of sentient beings in numerous manners, often dramatically. As a result, many fields of human activity are concerned with some aspects of suffering. These aspects may include the nature of suffering, its processes, its origin and causes, its meaning and significance, its related personal, social, and cultural behaviors, its remedies, management, and uses.


  1. suffer

    Suffer refers to experience or undergo something painful, unpleasant, or difficult. It can also mean tolerating or allowing something to continue. Additionally, it may imply being negatively affected by an illness, injury, loss, or misfortune.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Sufferverb

    to feel, or endure, with pain, annoyance, etc.; to submit to with distress or grief; to undergo; as, to suffer pain of body, or grief of mind

  2. Sufferverb

    to endure or undergo without sinking; to support; to sustain; to bear up under

  3. Sufferverb

    to undergo; to be affected by; to sustain; to experience; as, most substances suffer a change when long exposed to air and moisture; to suffer loss or damage

  4. Sufferverb

    to allow; to permit; not to forbid or hinder; to tolerate

  5. Sufferverb

    to feel or undergo pain of body or mind; to bear what is inconvenient; as, we suffer from pain, sickness, or sorrow; we suffer with anxiety

  6. Sufferverb

    to undergo punishment; specifically, to undergo the penalty of death

  7. Sufferverb

    to be injured; to sustain loss or damage


  1. Suffer

    Suffer is the third album by American punk rock band Bad Religion, released on the Californian independent record label Epitaph Records on September 8, 1988. It was the first album that was both released and distributed by the label. Following the release of the EP Back to the Known, Bad Religion went on a temporary hiatus, then reunited with its original members and went to work on its first full-length studio album in five years. Although Suffer was not charted in Billboard, it has been cited by some critics as one of the most important punk rock albums of all time. After its release, Suffer quickly became Epitaph Records' best seller and was the label's best-selling album for a number of years, until the release of The Offspring's 1994 highly acclaimed album Smash. A plethora of third-wave punk bands cite this album as a major inspiration; NOFX's Fat Mike has called it "the record that changed everything."

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Suffer

    suf′ėr, v.t. to undergo: to endure: to be affected by: to permit.—v.i. to feel pain or punishment: to sustain loss: to be injured.—adj. Suff′erable, that may be suffered: allowable.—n. Suff′erableness.—adv. Suff′erably.—ns. Suff′erance, state of suffering: endurance: permission: toleration; Suff′erer; Suff′ering, distress, loss, or injury. [L. sufferresub, under, ferre, to bear.]

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'suffer' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2968

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'suffer' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2712

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'suffer' in Verbs Frequency: #182

How to pronounce suffer?

How to say suffer in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of suffer in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of suffer in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of suffer in a Sentence

  1. Mark Rypien:

    I suffer from a complex stew of mental health conditions - dark places, depression, anxiety, addictions.

  2. Junius:

    It is the eternal truth in the political as well as the mystical body, that, where one members suffers, all the members suffer with it.

  3. Justice William O. Douglas:

    Freedom of movement is the very essence of our free society -- once the right to travel is curtailed, all other rights suffer.

  4. Bill Hartman:

    As the virus evolves and we get these different variant forms out there, it will prey on people who don't have a built-in antibody response like you can get with a vaccine, so these kids are the ones who will suffer the brunt of that, it's important to not only keep them safe, because even in this age group, it's a top 10 reason kids have died in the last two years. Kids aren't supposed to die.

  5. Christopher Mattei:

    It seems to us that Alex Jones has made a deliberate decision that Alex Jones would rather suffer the contempt of court rather than expose Alex Jones to deposition.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for suffer

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"suffer." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 3 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/suffer>.

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