Etymology
Advertisement

suffer (v.)

mid-13c., "allow to occur or continue, permit, tolerate, fail to prevent or suppress," also "to be made to undergo, endure, be subjected to" (pain, death, punishment, judgment, grief), from Anglo-French suffrir, Old French sofrir "bear, endure, resist; permit, tolerate, allow" (Modern French souffrir), from Vulgar Latin *sufferire, variant of Latin sufferre "to bear, undergo, endure, carry or put under," from sub "up, under" (see sub-) + ferre "to carry, bear," from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry," also "to bear children."

Replaced Old English þolian, þrowian. Meaning "submit meekly to" is from early 14c. Meaning "undergo, be subject to, be affected by, experience; be acted on by an agent" is from late 14c. Related: Suffered; sufferer; suffering. Suffering ______! as an exclamation is attested from 1859.

For ye suffre foles gladly because that ye youreselves are wyse. [II Corinthians vi in Tyndale, 1526]

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of suffer

suffer (v.)
undergo or be subjected to;
Many saints suffered martyrdom
He suffered the penalty
Synonyms: endure
suffer (v.)
undergo (as of injuries and illnesses);
She suffered a fracture in the accident
Synonyms: sustain / have / get
suffer (v.)
experience (emotional) pain;
Every time her husband gets drunk, she suffers
suffer (v.)
put up with something or somebody unpleasant;
Synonyms: digest / endure / stick out / stomach / bear / stand / tolerate / support / brook / abide / put up
suffer (v.)
get worse;
His grades suffered
suffer (v.)
feel pain or be in pain;
Synonyms: hurt
suffer (v.)
feel physical pain;
Synonyms: hurt / ache
suffer (v.)
feel unwell or uncomfortable;
She is suffering from the hot weather
suffer (v.)
be given to;
She suffers from a tendency to talk too much
suffer (v.)
undergo or suffer;
suffer a terrible fate
Synonyms: meet
suffer (v.)
be set at a disadvantage;
This author really suffers in translation
Synonyms: lose
From wordnet.princeton.edu