AskDefine | Define suffer

Dictionary Definition



1 undergo or be subjected to; "He suffered the penalty"; "Many saints suffered martyrdom" [syn: endure] [ant: enjoy]
2 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" [syn: sustain, have, get]
3 endure (emotional pain); "Every time her husband gets drunk, she suffers"
4 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" [syn: digest, endure, stick out, stomach, bear, stand, tolerate, support, brook, abide, put up]
5 get worse; "His grades suffered"
6 feel pain or be in pain [syn: hurt] [ant: be well]
7 feel physical pain; "Were you hurting after the accident?" [syn: hurt, ache]
8 undergo or suffer; "meet a violent death"; "suffer a terrible fate" [syn: meet]
9 feel unwell or uncomfortable; "She is suffering from the hot weather"
10 be given to; "She suffers from a tendency to talk too much"
11 be set at a disadvantage; "This author really suffers in translation" [syn: lose]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • (UK) /ˈsʌfə/, /"sVf@/
  • (US) /ˈsʌfɚ/, /"sVf@`/
  • Rhymes: -ʌfə(r)



  1. To undergo hardship.
  2. To feel pain.
    At least he didn't suffer when he died in the car crash.
  3. In the context of "intransitive|construed with from": To have a disease or condition.
    He's suffering from the flu this week.
  4. To become worse.
    If you keep partying like this, your school-work will suffer.
  5. To endure, undergo.
    I've been suffering your insults for years.
    I hope you never have to suffer the same pain.
  6. In the context of "transitive|archaic": To allow.
    • 1560, John Knox, First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women
      ... the holie ghoste doth manifestlie expresse, saying: I suffer not that women usurpe authoritie above man:


To undergo hardship
To feel pain
  • Finnish: kärsiä, kitua
  • German: leiden
  • Japanese: 苦しむ
  • Polish: cierpieć
  • Romanian: suferi
To have a disease or condition
  • Finnish: olla, potea
  • German: leiden
  • Japanese: 掛かる qualifier general, 罹患する qualifier medical term
To become worse
  • Finnish: kärsiä
To endure, undergo
  • Finnish: kestää, kärsiä
  • German: erleiden
  • Japanese: 我慢する
To allow
  • Finnish: sietää, hyväksyä

Extensive Definition

To suffer is to undergo suffering.
Suffer may also refer to:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abide, abide with, accept, ache, acquiesce, admit, agonize, ail, allow, anguish, be affected with, be doubly punished, be exposed to, be punished, be subjected to, bear, bear with, bide, blanch, bleed, blench, blink at, bow, brave, brook, catch it, complain of, condone, connive at, countenance, decline, deteriorate, diminish, encounter, endure, experience, fall off, feel, feel ill, feel pain, feel the pangs, get it, go down, go hard with, go through, grimace, grin and abide, hang in, hang in there, hang tough, have, have a misery, hear of, humor, hurt, indulge, know, labor under, leave, let, live through, lump, lump it, meet, meet up with, meet with, overlook, pain, pass through, pay, permit, persevere, pound, put up with, receive, run up against, see, shoot, shrink, smart, spend, stand, stand for, stand under, stick, stomach, submit, submit to, suffer anguish, suffer for, suffer the consequences, support, sustain, swallow, sweat, take, take up with, taste, thrill, throb, tingle, tolerate, twinge, twitch, undergo, wince, wink at, withstand, writhe, yield
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