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Suffer Definition and Meaning

By Fiza Rafique & Urooj Arif — Published on March 25, 2024
Suffer means to experience pain, distress, or hardship. e.g., People often suffer in silence, bearing their troubles without sharing them.

Suffer Definitions

To endure physical or mental pain.
He suffered greatly from arthritis.
To bear or endure something unpleasant.
She can't suffer fools gladly.
To sustain injury, disadvantage, or damage.
Their business suffered during the recession.
To permit something under duress.
He wouldn't suffer the insult to go unchallenged.
To be negatively impacted by something.
Plants suffer in extreme heat.
To undergo a particular experience, often negative.
The city suffered a major power outage.
To experience a deep or acute emotional pain.
She suffered from the loss of her friend.
To be afflicted with an illness.
Many people suffered from the flu last winter.
To be subjected to a consequence, often as a result of one's actions.
He suffered the penalty for his actions.
To endure a situation without complaint.
He suffers his fate with dignity.
To feel pain or distress; sustain injury or harm
Suffer from arthritis.
Made the people suffer for their disloyalty.
To have a specified shortcoming or weakness
Writing that suffers from poor organization.
To sustain a loss, setback, or decline in effectiveness; become worse
When morale drops, the company's performance suffers.
To appear at a disadvantage
"He suffers by comparison with his greater contemporary" (Albert C. Baugh).
To experience, undergo, or feel (something painful, injurious, or unpleasant)
Suffer a heart attack.
Suffer a debilitating illness.
Suffer pain.
To undergo or be subjected to (a negative experience or development)
A team that suffered a defeat.
A species that suffered a decline in population.
A business that suffered huge losses.
To put up with; tolerate
She does not suffer fools easily.
To permit; allow
"They were not suffered to aspire to so exalted a position as that of streetcar conductor" (Edmund S. Morgan).
(intransitive) To undergo hardship.
Many artists suffer before becoming famous.
(intransitive) To feel pain.
At least he didn't suffer when he died in the car crash.
(intransitive) To become worse.
If you keep partying like this, your school-work will suffer.
(transitive) To endure, undergo.
I've been suffering your insults for years.
We hope you never have to suffer the same pain.
To allow.
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.
To endure or undergo without sinking; to support; to sustain; to bear up under.
Our spirit and strength entire,Strongly to suffer and support our pains.
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.
If your more ponderous and settled projectMay suffer alteration.
To allow; to permit; not to forbid or hinder; to tolerate.
Thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
I suffer them to enter and possess.
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.
O well for him whose will is strong!He suffers, but he will not suffer long.
To undergo punishment; specifically, to undergo the penalty of death.
The father was first condemned to suffer upon a day appointed, and the son afterwards the day following.
To be injured; to sustain loss or damage.
Public business suffers by private infirmities.
Undergo or be subjected to;
He suffered the penalty
Many saints suffered martyrdom
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
Endure (emotional pain);
Every time her husband gets drunk, she suffers
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
Get worse;
His grades suffered
Feel pain or be in pain
Feel physical pain;
Were you hurting after the accident?
Undergo or suffer;
Meet a violent death
Suffer a terrible fate
Feel unwell or uncomfortable;
She is suffering from the hot weather
Be given to;
She suffers from a tendency to talk too much
Be set at a disadvantage;
This author really suffers in translation

Suffer Snonyms


To resist or stand up against something.
The structure was designed to withstand earthquakes.


To bear something patiently.
She endured the pain without complaint.


To undergo or suffer something, especially injury or damage.
The building sustained minor damage in the storm.


To experience a sensation or emotion.
He felt an intense sadness at the news.


To endure or survive through challenging conditions.
The farmers weathered the drought successfully.


To allow the existence or occurrence of something without interference.
He can barely tolerate loud noises.


To carry or support, especially under difficulty.
She bore the burden of leadership well.


To feel or be affected by something.
They experienced great joy at the news.


To experience or be subjected to something.
The patient will undergo surgery tomorrow.


To continue to live or exist, especially in spite of danger or hardship.
Only a few survived the harsh winter.

Suffer Idioms & Phrases

Suffer in silence

To endure pain or hardship without complaining.
Despite her struggles, she chose to suffer in silence.

Suffer fools gladly

To have little tolerance for incompetence or stupidity.
She's a strict teacher who does not suffer fools gladly.

Suffer the consequences

To experience negative outcomes as a result of one's actions.
If you break the rules, you must suffer the consequences.

Suffer from something

To be affected by an illness or condition.
He suffers from allergies in the spring.

Suffer a setback

To experience a reversal or defeat in one's efforts.
The project suffered a setback when funding was cut.

Suffer a loss

To experience the disadvantage of losing something, especially in a financial context.
Investors suffered a loss after the stock market crash.

Suffer a defeat

To lose in a competition or struggle.
The team suffered a crushing defeat last night.

Suffer the slings and arrows

To endure criticism or attacks.
She suffered the slings and arrows of her critics but remained undeterred.

Suffer no fools

Similar to not suffering fools gladly, indicating a low tolerance for stupidity.
As a manager, he suffers no fools.

Suffer in the heat

To experience discomfort or distress due to high temperatures.
Without air conditioning, we really suffered in the heat.

Suffer the indignity of

To experience something that causes shame or humiliation.
He had to suffer the indignity of being fired publicly.

Suffer in one's company

To find someone's presence uncomfortable or unbearable.
She could hardly suffer in his company after the argument.

Suffer a blow

To experience a setback, often in a personal or emotional sense.
His reputation suffered a blow after the scandal.

Suffer at the hands of

To be victimized or mistreated by someone.
Many suffered at the hands of the oppressive regime.

Suffer by comparison

To seem worse when compared with something else.
His latest work suffers by comparison with his earlier novels.

Suffer in comparison

Similar to suffering by comparison, indicating that something does not measure up to something else.
Her cooking always suffers in comparison to her mother's.

Suffer a fate

To experience a specific outcome, often negative.
The traitor was left to suffer a fate worse than death.

Suffer from a lack of

To be adversely affected due to a shortage of something.
The project suffered from a lack of resources.

Suffer for one's art

To endure hardship for the sake of one's creative work.
The artist suffered for his art, living in poverty to create his masterpieces.

Suffer the wrath of

To be subjected to someone's anger.
He feared he would suffer the wrath of his parents when they found out.

Suffer Example Sentences

She didn't want her family to suffer because of her mistakes.
Many people suffer from insomnia due to stress.
Plants often suffer in extreme cold weather.
The city's residents suffer whenever there's a power outage.
They had to suffer through a long and boring lecture.
You'll suffer the consequences if you don't follow the rules.
She's willing to suffer for a chance at success.
He won't suffer anyone questioning his authority.
Children shouldn't have to suffer because of adult conflicts.

Common Curiosities

How many syllables are in "suffer"?

"Suffer" has two syllables.

What is a stressed syllable in "suffer"?

The stressed syllable in "suffer" is the first syllable: "suf-."

Why is it called "suffer"?

"Suffer" comes from the Old French "souffrir," meaning "to endure, bear, or undergo," which in turn derives from the Latin "sufferre," a combination of "sub" (under, beneath) and "ferre" (to bear, carry).

What is the verb form of "suffer"?

"Suffer" itself is a verb. Its forms include "suffers" (present), "suffered" (past), and "suffering" (present participle).

How is "suffer" used in a sentence?

"Suffer" is used to describe the experience of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship, e.g., She chose to suffer in silence rather than seek help.

What is the root word of "suffer"?

The root word of "suffer" is the Latin "sufferre," which means "to bear, undergo, or endure."

How do we divide "suffer" into syllables?

"Suffer" is divided into syllables as "suf-fer."

What is the first form of "suffer"?

The first form of "suffer" is "suffer," which is the base form or the infinitive form of the verb.

Is "suffer" an abstract noun?

No, "suffer" is a verb, not a noun. The noun form related to "suffer" could be "suffering," which is an abstract noun.

What is the pronunciation of "suffer"?

"Suffer" is pronounced as /ˈsʌfər/.

What is the singular form of "suffer"?

"Suffer" is both singular and plural; as a verb, it doesn't change form based on number.

What is the opposite of "suffer"?

The opposite of "suffer" might be "enjoy" or "revel in."

Is "suffer" a vowel or consonant?

"Suffer" starts with a consonant 's'.

Is "suffer" a countable noun?

"Suffer" is not a noun; it is a verb. Therefore, it is not countable.

Is "suffer" a collective noun?

No, "suffer" is a verb and not a noun, so it cannot be a collective noun.

Is the "suffer" term a metaphor?

The term "suffer" can be used metaphorically in contexts where no physical pain is involved, implying enduring or going through a difficult situation.

What part of speech is "suffer"?

"Suffer" is a verb.

What is the plural form of "suffer"?

"Suffer" doesn't have a plural form; it remains the same in both singular and plural contexts.

Is "suffer" an adverb?

No, "suffer" is not an adverb; it is a verb.

What is the third form of "suffer"?

The third form of "suffer" is also "suffered," used as the past participle in perfect tenses.

What is another term for "suffer"?

Another term for "suffer" could be "endure" or "tolerate."

Is "suffer" a negative or positive word?

"Suffer" is generally considered a negative word as it implies experiencing pain, distress, or hardship.

Is the word “suffer” a Direct object or an Indirect object?

"Suffer" is a verb, and it can have a direct object in sentences, e.g., "She suffered a great loss." The direct object here is "a great loss."

Which vowel is used before "suffer"?

The use of vowels before "suffer" depends on the context; no specific rule applies to the vowel used before it.

What is the second form of "suffer"?

The second form of "suffer" is "suffered," which is the simple past tense of the verb.

Is "suffer" a noun or adjective?

"Suffer" is a verb, not a noun or adjective.

Which preposition is used with "suffer"?

Prepositions like "from," "under," and "through" are often used with "suffer," e.g., "suffer from illness," "suffer under oppression," "suffer through hardship."

Which conjunction is used with "suffer"?

Conjunctions like "and," "but," and "or" can be used with "suffer" based on the sentence structure, e.g., "suffer and endure," "suffer but overcome," "suffer or perish."

Is the word "suffer" imperative?

"Suffer" can be used in the imperative form, as in giving a command or request, e.g., "Suffer no delays."

Is the word "suffer" a Gerund?

"Suffering" would be the gerund form of "suffer."

Which determiner is used with "suffer"?

Determiners like "a," "the," and "much" can be used with "suffer" depending on the context, e.g., "suffer a loss," "suffer the consequences," "suffer much pain."

Which article is used with "suffer"?

The definite article "the" and the indefinite articles "a" or "an" can be used with "suffer" based on the context, e.g., "suffer the consequences," "suffer a setback."

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

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