Definition of sue in English:



  • 1with object Institute legal proceedings against (a person or institution), typically for redress.

    ‘she is to sue the baby's father’
    no object ‘I sued for breach of contract’
    • ‘It is true that the subjects may sue for libel or invasion of privacy, and some have done so and won.’
    • ‘All the charges have since been withdrawn and Mr. Richards is now suing the department for malicious prosecution.’
    • ‘As a contractor he adds, he isn't in a position to sue for unfair dismissal.’
    • ‘They are the result of negligence and for that we ought to have the right to sue for damages.’
    • ‘No one suggests the jurors could be sued for negligence because they made a wrong decision.’
    • ‘Scores of north west families struck down by a dangerous bug at a Spanish hotel are preparing to sue for thousands of pounds.’
    • ‘People have lost their jobs over derogatory remarks made in blogs, but can you be sued for libel or defamation?’
    • ‘In this area of the law, victims can choose whether they wish to sue the person who caused the action.’
    • ‘They've sued people for putting this copyrighted material out in the public domain of the internet.’
    • ‘At the time, a wife was unable to sue her husband in tort, so the action was brought by the children.’
    • ‘That's all great, until one of them falls off the swing set and sues us.’
    • ‘One of our reviewers suggested that the patient had grounds to sue for negligence.’
    • ‘This made it financially worthwhile to sue officers for torts they might have committed.’
    • ‘A married woman was sued on a bill of exchange and a cheque that she had signed at the request of her husband.’
    • ‘Where the original landlord assigns his reversion, he loses his right to sue the original tenant.’
    • ‘In order to sue for whiplash, any claimant has to have been involved in a crash that wasn't their fault.’
    • ‘Now I wish to sue for money, enough for him to live a decent life after I am gone.’
    • ‘Another course of action is to sue for damages in the Small Claims Court.’
    • ‘In fact, if you dare to take her without my knowledge or consent I will sue you.’
    • ‘It could lead to the show being taken off air and the BBC could sue for millions of pounds of compensation.’
    take legal action against, take to court, bring an action against, bring a suit against, proceed against
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  • 2formal no object Appeal formally to a person for something.

    ‘the rebels were forced to sue for peace’
    • ‘The fear was that it could be interpreted in such a way as to allow poor countries to sue for special aid and trade provisions.’
    • ‘With Moscow in his grasp, Napoleon thought that Alexander would sue for peace.’
    • ‘If Elizabeth could not afford to do this, then she could sue for peace on terms favourable to Spain.’
    • ‘By 1760, France was nearing bankruptcy and its sole option was to sue for peace.’
    • ‘It has to stop, and this is as good a time as any to sue for peace.’
    • ‘Wars are declared by politicians, who are the same people who at some point sue for peace.’
    • ‘Next would come invasion of Hawaii and then the Americans would sue for peace.’
    • ‘In South Dakota, Native American officials are suing for clarification of new election rules.’
    • ‘His forces were overrun by the German and Bulgarian armies, and on 7 May he was forced to sue for peace.’
    • ‘The question now is whether we allow the dollar to be our ruler or keep on suing angrily for peace.’
    • ‘The civilians themselves would cause the Nazi hierarchy to sue for peace, so Harris believed.’
    • ‘Today, at the initiative of the Saudis, the entire mainstream Arab world is yet again suing for peace in the Middle East.’
    • ‘She must now advise her boss that, after eight years of war with Labour rebels, it is time to sue for peace.’
    • ‘At around the same time news leaked that the leader of the rebels had desperately tried to sue for peace just before the war began.’
    • ‘Haig believed that he could force the Germans to sue for peace by Christmas 1917.’
    • ‘However, he is now suing for the right to stay under the Human Rights Act, recently made part of British law.’
    • ‘With the capital cut off, there may even be a pause in operations to allow the regime to sue for peace.’
    • ‘Whoever follows Fred into the hot seat would have no alternative but to sue for peace.’
    • ‘Federal recognition would allow the Lemhis to sue for their rights independently.’
    • ‘She was eventually forced to sue for peace but still refused to pay tribute to the Portuguese.’
    appeal, petition, ask, beg, plead, entreat, implore, supplicate
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Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French suer, based on Latin sequi ‘follow’. Early senses were very similar to those of the verb follow.