[ suhf-er-uh ns, suhf-ruh ns ]
/ ˈsʌf ər əns, ˈsʌf rəns /


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

1250–1300; Middle English suffrance < Old French soufrance, < Late Latin sufferentia, equivalent to suffer(re) to suffer + -entia -ence, -ance

Related forms

non·suf·fer·ance, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sufferance

British Dictionary definitions for sufferance


/ (ˈsʌfərəns, ˈsʌfrəns) /


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 for sufferance

C13: via Old French from Late Latin sufferentia endurance, from Latin sufferre to suffer
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