- passive permission resulting from lack of interference; tolerance, especially of something wrong or illegal (usually preceded by on or by).
- capacity to endure pain, hardship, etc.; endurance.
- Archaic. suffering; misery.
- Archaic. patient endurance.
Origin of sufferance
- tolerance arising from failure to prohibit; tacit permission
- capacity to endure pain, injury, etc
- the state or condition of suffering
- archaic patient endurance
- on sufferance with reluctance
Word Origin and History for on sufferance
c.1300, "enduring of hardship, affliction, etc.," also "allowance of wrongdoing," from Old French suffrance, from Late Latin sufferentia, from sufferre (see suffer).
Idioms and Phrases with on sufferance
Barely tolerated; agreed to but unwillingly. For example, They rarely put a non-academic on the panel, so obviously I was there on sufferance. This expression uses sufferance in the sense of “toleration,” a usage obsolete except in this idiom. [Mid-1500s]