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’
    • ‘That's all great, until one of them falls off the swing set and sues us.’
    • ‘At the time, a wife was unable to sue her husband in tort, so the action was brought by the children.’
    • ‘In this area of the law, victims can choose whether they wish to sue the person who caused the action.’
    • ‘No one suggests the jurors could be sued for negligence because they made a wrong decision.’
    • ‘They are the result of negligence and for that we ought to have the right to sue for damages.’
    • ‘They've sued people for putting this copyrighted material out in the public domain of the internet.’
    • ‘As a contractor he adds, he isn't in a position to sue for unfair dismissal.’
    • ‘It is true that the subjects may sue for libel or invasion of privacy, and some have done so and won.’
    • ‘People have lost their jobs over derogatory remarks made in blogs, but can you be sued for libel or defamation?’
    • ‘In fact, if you dare to take her without my knowledge or consent I will sue you.’
    • ‘Now I wish to sue for money, enough for him to live a decent life after I am gone.’
    • ‘Where the original landlord assigns his reversion, he loses his right to sue the original tenant.’
    • ‘This made it financially worthwhile to sue officers for torts they might have committed.’
    • ‘One of our reviewers suggested that the patient had grounds to sue for negligence.’
    • ‘It could lead to the show being taken off air and the BBC could sue for millions of pounds of compensation.’
    • ‘In order to sue for whiplash, any claimant has to have been involved in a crash that wasn't their fault.’
    • ‘All the charges have since been withdrawn and Mr. Richards is now suing the department for malicious prosecution.’
    • ‘Scores of north west families struck down by a dangerous bug at a Spanish hotel are preparing to sue for thousands of pounds.’
    • ‘Another course of action is to sue for damages in the Small Claims Court.’
    • ‘A married woman was sued on a bill of exchange and a cheque that she had signed at the request of her husband.’
    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’
    • ‘With Moscow in his grasp, Napoleon thought that Alexander would sue for peace.’
    • ‘The civilians themselves would cause the Nazi hierarchy to sue for peace, so Harris believed.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Wars are declared by politicians, who are the same people who at some point sue for peace.’
    • ‘She was eventually forced to sue for peace but still refused to pay tribute to the Portuguese.’
    • ‘However, he is now suing for the right to stay under the Human Rights Act, recently made part of British law.’
    • ‘The question now is whether we allow the dollar to be our ruler or keep on suing angrily for peace.’
    • ‘Today, at the initiative of the Saudis, the entire mainstream Arab world is yet again suing for peace in the Middle East.’
    • ‘Federal recognition would allow the Lemhis to sue for their rights independently.’
    • ‘With the capital cut off, there may even be a pause in operations to allow the regime to sue for peace.’
    • ‘Haig believed that he could force the Germans to sue for peace by Christmas 1917.’
    • ‘His forces were overrun by the German and Bulgarian armies, and on 7 May he was forced to sue for peace.’
    • ‘If Elizabeth could not afford to do this, then she could sue for peace on terms favourable to Spain.’
    • ‘It has to stop, and this is as good a time as any 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.’
    • ‘Whoever follows Fred into the hot seat would have no alternative but to sue for peace.’
    • ‘By 1760, France was nearing bankruptcy and its sole option was to sue for peace.’
    • ‘She must now advise her boss that, after eight years of war with Labour rebels, it is time to sue for peace.’
    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.