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suffer - definition and synonyms

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verb     suffer pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlesuffering
past tensesuffered
past participlesuffered
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to feel pain in your body or your mind

    Don’t worry, the animal won’t suffer any pain.

    When parents argue constantly, it’s the children who suffer most.

    1. a.
      to have a particular illness or physical problem
      suffer from:

      patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease

      She suffered from depression for most of her adult life.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to experience something very unpleasant or painful

    Some patients suffered severe side-effects from the treatment.

    suffer the consequences:

    If you choose to ignore the rules, you’ll have to suffer the consequences.

    1. a.
      [intransitive] to be badly affected by a very difficult or unpleasant situation
      suffer from:

      The region continues to suffer from serious pollution.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] to become worse or less successful
  4. 4
    [transitive] an old word meaning ‘to allow something’
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