- 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.
- 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
n.c.1300, “enduring of hardship, affliction, etc.,” also “allowance of wrongdoing,” from Old French suffrance, from Late Latin sufferentia, from sufferre (see suffer). Barely tolerated; agreed to but unwillingly. For example, They rarely put a non-academic on the panel, so obviously I was there on sufferance. This expression uses sufferance in the sense of “toleration,” a usage obsolete except in this idiom. [Mid-1500s]