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suffer

[suhf-er] /ˈsʌf ər/
verb (used without object)
1.
to undergo or feel pain or distress:
The patient is still suffering.
2.
to sustain injury, disadvantage, or loss:
One's health suffers from overwork. The business suffers from lack of capital.
3.
to undergo a penalty, as of death:
The traitor was made to suffer on the gallows.
4.
to endure pain, disability, death, etc., patiently or willingly.
verb (used with object)
5.
to undergo, be subjected to, or endure (pain, distress, injury, loss, or anything unpleasant):
to suffer the pangs of conscience.
6.
to undergo or experience (any action, process, or condition):
to suffer change.
7.
to tolerate or allow:
I do not suffer fools gladly.
Origin of suffer
1200-1250
1200-50; Middle English suff(e)ren < Latin sufferre, equivalent to suf- suf- + ferre to bear1; compare Old French sofrir < Vulgar Latin *sufferīre
Related forms
sufferable, adjective
sufferableness, noun
sufferably, adverb
sufferer, noun
nonsufferable, adjective
nonsufferableness, noun
nonsufferably, adverb
outsuffer, verb (used with object)
presuffer, verb
unsufferable, adjective
unsufferableness, noun
unsufferably, adverb
Synonyms
5. sustain. 7. stomach, stand, abide.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for sufferer
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He gave the host money to take care of the sufferer until he recovered.

    I.N.R.I. Peter Rosegger
  • "Now, stop a moment: 'For we are saved by hope,'" said the sufferer.

    Hope and Have Oliver Optic
  • The sufferer drank two or three swallows of the fiery liquid from the bottle after he had dismounted.

    The Young Lieutenant Oliver Optic
  • It was useless to talk with the sufferer, and Levi's presence only excited him.

    Freaks of Fortune Oliver Optic
  • The big life-saver who had carried the sufferer in was already at work in an attempt at resuscitation.

    The Boy With the U. S. Life-Savers Francis Rolt-Wheeler
  • He can break open a door by butting it with his head, and the door is the only sufferer.

    In Court and Kampong Hugh Clifford
  • He was now nearly sixty, wearied by adversity, and a sufferer from gout and obesity.

British Dictionary definitions for sufferer

suffer

/ˈsʌfə/
verb
1.
to undergo or be subjected to (pain, punishment, etc)
2.
(transitive) to undergo or experience (anything): to suffer a change of management
3.
(intransitive) to be set at a disadvantage: this author suffers in translation
4.
to be prepared to endure (pain, death, etc): he suffers for the cause of freedom
5.
(transitive) (archaic) to permit (someone to do something): suffer the little children to come unto me
6.
suffer from
  1. to be ill with, esp recurrently
  2. to be given to: he suffers from a tendency to exaggerate
Derived Forms
sufferer, noun
Usage note
It is better to avoid using the words suffer and sufferer in relation to chronic illness or disability. They may be considered demeaning and disempowering. Suitable alternative are have, experience, be diagnosed with
Word Origin
C13: from Old French soffrir, from Latin sufferre, from sub- + ferre to bear
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sufferer

suffer

v.

early 13c., "to be made to undergo, endure" (pain, death, punishment, judgment, grief), from Anglo-French suffrir, Old French sufrir, 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" (see infer).

Replaced Old English þolian, þrowian. Meaning "to meekly submit to hardship" is from late 13c. That of "to undergo" (distress, suffering, etc.) is mid-14c. Meaning "to tolerate, allow" something to occur or continue is recorded from mid-13c. Related: Suffered; suffering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with sufferer
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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