[lawng-suhf-er-ing, -suhf-ring, long-]


enduring injury, trouble, or provocation long and patiently.


long and patient endurance of injury, trouble, or provocation: years of long-suffering and illness.

Origin of long-suffering

First recorded in 1520–30
Related formslong-suf·fer·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for long-suffering

enduring, forbearing, lenient, tolerant, uncomplaining

Examples from the Web for long-suffering

Contemporary Examples of long-suffering

Historical Examples of long-suffering

  • It is harder to be long-suffering when one is out of breath.

  • Only the people, long-suffering and generous, remain as his resource.

  • Passive, patient, long-suffering she had been the while the mortifications and slights were for herself.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • Poor Jed, the long-suffering, was goaded into a mild retort.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Take heart, Ralph Ray, most unselfish and long-suffering of men.

British Dictionary definitions for long-suffering



enduring pain, unhappiness, etc, without complaint

noun Also: long-sufferance

long and patient endurance
Derived Formslong-sufferingly, adverb
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

Word Origin and History for long-suffering

also longsuffering, 1520s (n.), 1530s (adj.), from long (adj.) + suffering (see suffer). Old English had langmodig in this sense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper