- verb (written as suffer)to receive an injury
- verb (written as suffer)to be in a bad situation, to do badly
- verb (written as suffer)to have an illness for a long period of time
- verb (written as suffer)to experience discomfort, pain or unhappiness
- exclamation a cry of defiance, challenge or contempt, as used by schoolchildren and adolescents from at least the late 1970s
Origin & History of “suffer!”
To suffer something is etymologically to ‘hold it up from underneath’, to ‘sustain’ it’. The word comes via Anglo-Norman suffrir from vulgar Latin *sufferīre, an alteration of Latin sufferre ‘sustain’. this was a compound verb formed from the prefix sub- ‘up from underneath’ and ferre ‘carry’ (a relative of English bear). The word’s modern meaning evolved from ‘sustain’ via ‘undergo’ and ‘undergo something unpleasant’ to ‘endure’.