- from in- (prefix meaning ‘not’) + sufferable, souffrable (“bearable, endurable, tolerable; allowable, permissible; able to or willing to bear hardship; forbearing, long-suffering; calm, self-restrained, slow to anger; capable of suffering”) (from Anglo-Norman sufferable, souffrable, and Old French souffrable, suffrable (“sufferable, tolerable”)); or
- from Old French insouffrable (“which cannot be endured or suffered; something insufferable or unendurable”) (now dialectal), from in- (prefix meaning ‘not’) + souffrable, suffrable.
Old French souffrable, suffrable are derived from Medieval Latin sufferābilis, from Latin sufferre + -ābilis (suffix meaning ‘able or worthy to be’); while sufferre is the present active infinitive of sufferō, subferō (“to bear or carry under; to bear, endure, suffer, undergo”), from sub- (prefix meaning ‘below, under’) + ferō (“to bear, carry; to endure, suffer, tolerate”) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *bʰer- (“to bear, carry”)). The English word is analysable as in- (prefix meaning ‘not’) + sufferable.
- (Received Pronunciation, General American) enPR: ĭn-sŭf'ər-ə-bəl, IPA(key): /ɪnˈsʌfəɹəb(ə)l/, /ɪnˈsʌfɹəb(ə)l/
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- Hyphenation: in‧suf‧fer‧a‧ble
- Not sufferable; very difficult or impossible to endure; intolerable, unbearable.
- Synonyms: insupportable, unabideable, unendurable, (archaic or obsolete) unsufferable, unsupportable
- Antonyms: abideable, bearable, endurable, sufferable, supportable, tolerable
- 1693, Decimus Junius Juvenalis, W. Bowles, transl., “[The Satires of Decimus Junius Juvenalis.] The Fifth Satyr”, in The Satires of Decimus Junius Juvenalis. Translated into English Verse. […] Together with the Satires of Aulus Persius Flaccus. […], London: Printed for Jacob Tonson […], →OCLC, page 76:
- No, his good Meen, his Youth, and blooming Face / Tempt him to think, that vvith a better grace / Himſelf might ſit, and thou ſupply his place. / Behold there yet remains, vvhich muſt be born, / Proud Servants more inſufferable Scorn.
- 1712 July 23 (Gregorian calendar), [Richard Steele], “SATURDAY, July 12, 1712”, in The Spectator, number 429; republished in Alexander Chalmers, editor, The Spectator; a New Edition, […], volume V, New York, N.Y.: D[aniel] Appleton & Company, 1853, →OCLC, page 120:
- She is sensible that a vain person is the most insufferable creature living in a well-bred assembly.
- c. 1794, Jane Austen, “[Lady Susan.] XXII. Lady Susan to Mrs. Johnson.”, in J[ames] E[dward] Austen[-]Leigh, A Memoir of Jane Austen: […] to which is Added Lady Susan and Fragments of Two Other Unfinished Tales by Miss Austen, 2nd edition, London: Richard Bentley and Son, […], published 1871, →OCLC, page 249:
- This is insufferable! My dearest friend, I was never so enraged before, and must relieve myself by writing to you, who I know will enter into all my feelings.
- 1813 January 27, [Jane Austen], chapter V, in Pride and Prejudice: […], volume III, London: […] [George Sidney] for T[homas] Egerton, […], →OCLC, page 108:
- "She had better have stayed at home," cried Elizabeth; "perhaps she meant well, but, under such a misfortune as this, one cannot see too little of one's neighbours. Assistance is impossible; condolence, insufferable. Let them triumph over us at a distance, and be satisfied."
- 1827, [John Keble], “The Conversion of St. Paul”, in The Christian Year: Thoughts in Verse for the Sundays and Holydays throughout the Year, volume II, Oxford, Oxfordshire: […] [B]y W. Baxter, for J. Parker; and C[harles] and J[ohn] Rivington, […], →OCLC, pages 111–112:
- He heard and saw, and sought to free / His strain'd eye from the sight: / But Heaven's high magic bound it there, / Still gazing, though untaught to bear / Th' insufferable light.
- 1894, Henry James, “The Coxon Fund. Chapter IV.”, in Terminations […], New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, published 1895, →OCLC, page 80:
- It was of course familiar to me that Saltram was incapable of keeping the engagements which, after their separation, he had entered into with regard to his wife, a deeply wronged, justly resentful, quite irreproachable and insufferable person.
- 1913 October, Edith Wharton, chapter XIII, in The Custom of the Country, New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner’s Sons, →OCLC, page 173:
- That the illumination should have been kindled by his cousin's husband was not precisely agreeable to Marvell, who thought Peter a bore in society and an insufferable nuisance on closer terms.
- 2011 June 7, “Chaos in Syria: Are Army Deserters Helping to Arm the Opposition?”, in Time, New York, N.Y.: Time Warner Publishing, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 11 September 2011:
- The oppressive heat has become insufferable in Syria – and as the temperature climbs, emotions get harder to contain.
- ^ “insufferāble, adj.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ “in-, pref.(2)”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ “sufferāble, adj.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ “insufferable, adj.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2019; “insufferable, adj.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
- ^ “sufferable, adj.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2021; “sufferable, adj.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
- “insufferable”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.