a man who courts or woos a woman.
Law. a petitioner or plaintiff.
a person who sues or petitions for anything.
Informal. an individual who seeks to buy a business.

Origin of suitor

1250–1300; Middle English s(e)utor, suitour < Anglo-French < Latin secūtor, equivalent to secū-, variant stem of sequī to follow + -tor -tor Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for suitor

Contemporary Examples of suitor

  • I find both “admirer” and “suitor” to be presumptuous and one-sided.

    The Daily Beast logo
    What Should I Call the Man I Love?

    Dushka Zapata

    November 18, 2014

  • When Cato still refused, the suitor then asked Cato for Cato's own wife.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Who Was the Real Cato?

    David Frum

    December 20, 2012

  • Soni and Goodman attribute the complicated story to the shared Stoic philosophy of Cato and the suitor.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Who Was the Real Cato?

    David Frum

    December 20, 2012

Historical Examples of suitor

  • Had not her uncle brought him declaredly as a suitor to her?

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • And the suitor, my dear, was the kind of man who could endure that kind of people.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • Otherwise, should I not have married some other suitor, of whom there have been plenty?

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

  • The suitor was required to make presents to the bride's family.

    The Truth About Woman

    C. Gasquoine Hartley

  • They have made him responsible to a realm of shadows, and a suitor in a court of shades.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

British Dictionary definitions for suitor



a man who courts a woman; wooer
law a person who brings a suit in a court of law; plaintiff
rare a person who makes a request or appeal for anything

Word Origin for suitor

C13: from Anglo-Norman suter, from Latin secūtor follower, from sequī to follow
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 suitor

late 14c., "follower, disciple," from Anglo-French seutor or directly from Late Latin secutor, from past participle stem of sequi "to follow" (see suit (n.)). Meaning "one who seeks (a woman) in marriage" is from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper