Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


English Wikipedia has an article on:


From Middle English "prayers or pleas on behalf of another", from Old French, from Medieval Latin suffragium, from Latin suffragium (support, vote, right of voting). The sense of "vote" or "right to vote" was directly derived from classical Latin.


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈsʌfɹɪdʒ/
    • (file)


suffrage (usually uncountable, plural suffrages)

  1. (uncountable) The right or chance to vote, express an opinion, or participate in a decision.
  2. (countable) A vote in deciding a particular question.
    • 1833, Henry Clay, Thomas Hart Benton, editor, Abridgment of the Debates of Congress, from 1789 to 1856[1], published 1859, page 213:
      But the President himself says that " upon him has been devolved, by the constitution, and the suffrages of the American people, the duty of superintending the operation of the executive departments of the Government,
    • 1822, Edward Wynne, William Meechan Bythewood, Eunomus: or, Dialogues concerning the law and constitution of England, volume 2, page 369:
      Hence, by rendering the suffrages secret in the Roman republic, all was lost; it was no longer possible to direct a populace that sought its own destruction
  3. The right to vote for elected officials in a representative democracy.
    universal suffrage, women's suffrage, negro suffrage
  4. (US) The right of women to vote.
  5. (countable, Christianity) A prayer, for example a prayer offered for the faithful dead.
    • (Can we find and add a quotation of Shipley to this entry?)
    • (Can we date this quote?) Creed of Pope Pius IV
      I firmly believe that there is a purgatory, and that the souls therein detained are helped by the suffrages of the faithful.
    • 1969, G. J. Cuming, A history of Anglican liturgy:
      As these holy prayers and suffrages following are set forth of most godly zeal for edifying and stirring of devotion of all true faithful Christian hearts []
    • 2006, John E. Curran, Hamlet, Protestantism, and the Mourning of Contingency: Not to Be, page 86:
      In explaining and defending suffrages for the dead, Catholic argument repeatedly involved the assumption of the importance of time.
  6. (countable, Christianity) A short petition, as those after the creed in matins and evensong.
    • 1904, John Newton McCormick, The litany and the life: a series of studies in the litany ..., page 222:
      Lastly, in this suffrage, we intercede for prisoners and captives; we "remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them."
  7. (uncountable) Aid, intercession.
  8. Testimony; attestation; witness; approval.
    • (Can we date this quote by Atterbury and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      Lactantius and St. Austin confirm by their suffrage the observation made by heathen writers.
    • (Can we date this quote by South and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      Every miracle is the suffrage of Heaven to the truth of a doctrine.
Quote-alpha.png This entry needs quotations to illustrate usage. If you come across any interesting, durably archived quotes then please add them!



Related terms[edit]





Borrowed from Latin suffragium (support, vote, right of voting).


suffrage m (plural suffrages)

  1. suffrage (right to vote)
  2. suffrage (prayer)

Further reading[edit]