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suffering

[suhf-er-ing, suhf-ring] /ˈsʌf ər ɪŋ, ˈsʌf rɪŋ/
noun
1.
the state of a person or thing that suffers.
2.
Often, sufferings. something suffered by a person or a group of people; pain:
the sufferings of the slaves.
Origin of suffering
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English; see suffer, -ing1
Related forms
sufferingly, adverb
unsuffering, adjective
Synonyms
1. agony, torment, torture; pain, distress.

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
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for suffering
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • One day of this happiness was worth more than years of suffering.

    The Autobiography of Madame Guyon Jeanne Marie Bouvier de La Motte Guyon
  • I'm always amused when I read about the suffering in the tenements.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • They are suffering from a mental disease of discouragement and loss of hope.

    The Victorious Attitude Orison Swett Marden
  • But in the end this period of suffering proved a real blessing.

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • She grew thin and seemed to be suffering from a chronic cough.

    Married August Strindberg
British Dictionary definitions for suffering

suffering

/ˈsʌfərɪŋ; ˈsʌfrɪŋ/
noun
1.
the pain, misery, or loss experienced by a person who suffers
2.
the state or an instance of enduring pain, etc
Derived Forms
sufferingly, adverb

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 suffering
n.

"patient enduring of hardship," mid-14c.; "undergoing of punishment, affliction, etc.," late 14c., verbal noun from suffer (v.).

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 suffering
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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