1845, French, literally "suffer sorrow;" one who is in a subservient position and must listen to or share another's troubles, specifically "a woman who acts as a paid companion to an older woman."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Examples from the Web for souffre-douleur

Historical Examples of souffre-douleur

  • Youre only too willing to offer yourself as a souffre-douleur on all occasions.

    The Dull Miss Archinard

    Anne Douglas Sedgwick