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verb (used with object), sued, su·ing.
  1. to institute a process in law against; bring a civil action against: to sue someone for damages.
  2. to woo or court.
  3. Obsolete. to make petition or appeal to.
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verb (used without object), sued, su·ing.
  1. to institute legal proceedings, or bring suit: She threatened to sue.
  2. to make petition or appeal: to sue for peace.
  3. to court a woman.
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Verb Phrases
  1. sue out, to make application for or apply for and obtain (a writ or the like) from a court of law.
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Origin of sue

1150–1200; Middle English suen, siwen < Old French sivre < Vulgar Latin *sequere to follow, for Latin sequī
Related formssu·er, nounun·sued, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for suer

Historical Examples

  • He would be no longer the suer but the sued, and she was determined that he should make her his wife.

    The Man with a Shadow

    George Manville Fenn

  • The most dangerous of these winds is the Borea or Suer, that sweeps down from the north as through a funnel.

  • This interruption was usually—I may say invariably—rebuked by the words, "Choop raho, suer!"

  • But suer, in that he drunke so muche wine that same night: he deserved no praise in the worlde.

    A Renaissance Courtesy-book

    Giovanni Della Casa

British Dictionary definitions for suer


verb sues, suing or sued
  1. to institute legal proceedings (against)
  2. to make suppliant requests of (someone for something)
  3. archaic to pay court (to)
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Derived Formssuer, noun

Word Origin

C13: via Anglo-Norman from Old French sivre, from Latin sequī to follow


  1. Eugène (øʒɛn). original name Marie-Joseph Sue. 1804–57, French novelist, whose works, notably Les mystères de Paris (1842–43) and Le juif errant (1844–45), were among the first to reflect the impact of the industrial revolution on France
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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 suer



c.1200, "continue, persevere," from Anglo-French suer "follow after, continue," from Old French sivre, later suivre "pursue, follow after," from Vulgar Latin *sequere "follow," from Latin sequi "follow" (see sequel). Sense of "start a lawsuit against" first recorded c.1300, on notion of "following up" a matter in court. Sometimes short for ensue or pursue. Related: Sued; suing.

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fem. proper name, a shortened or familiar form of Susan.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper