AskDefine | Define sufferance

Dictionary Definition



1 patient endurance especially of pain or distress
2 a disposition to tolerate or accept people or situations; "all people should practice toleration and live together in peace" [syn: toleration, acceptance]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Endurance, especially patiently, of pain or adversity.
    • 1826, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, The Last Man, ch. 4,
      I indulged in this meditation for a moment, and then again addressed the mourner, who stood leaning against the bed with that expression of resigned despair, of complete misery, and a patient sufferance of it, which is far more touching than any of the insane ravings or wild gesticulation of untamed sorrow.
  2. Acquiescence or tacit compliance with some circumstance, behavior, or instruction.
    • 1910, Arthur Quiller-Couch, Lady Good-for-Nothing, ch. 20,
      When his talk trespasses beyond sufferance, I chastise him.
  3. Pain, misery.
    • 1612, William Shakespeare, King Henry VIII, act 2, sc. 3,
      'Tis a sufferance panging
      As soul and body's severing.

Related terms

Dictionary notes

  • sufferance” in Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition] © & (P)2007 Microsoft Corporation.
  • sufferance” in the Wordsmyth Dictionary-Thesaurus © Wordsmyth 2002.
  • sufferance” in Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary, © 2006-2007 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.
  • sufferance” in Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary © Cambridge University Press 2007.
  • sufferance” in Compact Oxford English Dictionary, © Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • sufferance” at Rhymezone © 2006 Datamuse.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

acceptance, allowance, authorization, connivance, consent, endurance, forbearance, forbearing, forbearingness, fortitude, indulgence, leave, lenience, leniency, long-sufferance, long-suffering, longanimity, overlooking, patience, patience of Job, patientness, permissiveness, permit, perseverance, sanction, self-control, stoicism, sweet reasonableness, tolerance, toleration, waiting game, waiting it out, winking
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