he was suffered to do so


Senior Member

Could you please help me understand the meaning of "suffered" in the following passage?
Thank you.

From: The Travels of Pero Tafur, translated and edited with an introduction by Malcolm Letts (New York, London: Harper & brothers 1926)

Tafur now made his way in the direction of Prague to pay his respects to Albert II, the King of the Romans. He was not there, but was found eventually at Breslau, on the very outskirts of civilization, where the travellers arrived at Christmas, 1438. Tafur was received with great respect. Albert paid him every attention, finding partners for him at the Court ball and holding the candle to him on several occasions, and eventually investing him with the Order of the Dragon. It was not without difficulty that Tafur could obtain licence to depart; but at last he was suffered to do so, and, carrying with him a silver bowl as a present, he set out for Vienna in company with a party of knights.
  • Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    suffered = allowed

    This is an archaic use of the verb. See meaning 5.

    suf•fer /ˈsʌfɚ/ v.
    1. to feel pain or great distress: [no object]She suffered greatly as a child.[~ + object]She suffered poverty as a child.
    2. [no object] to become worse; deteriorate:My work suffers when I'm distracted.
    3. to endure or be afflicted with something, such as a disease, injury, or loss: [no object]to suffer from Parkinson's disease.[~ + object]He suffered a sprain in his left leg.
    4. [~ + object] to experience (any action, process, or condition):to suffer change.
    5. [~ + object] to tolerate or allow:I do not suffer fools gladly.
    at last he was allowed to do so
    Last edited by a moderator:


    Senior Member
    Thank you.
    This meaning is not included in my good old Oxford Advanced Learner's paper dictionary (published in 2000).
    I must remember to consult the WR dictionary next time. :)


    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    The "learner's dictionaries", it seems are often misleading or inadequate. Do use the WR dictionary. There are also many other dictionaries online, which you can find by simply entering a word in Google.