- To sue is defined as to bring a legal action against a person or an organization.
An example of sue is filing a claim against a cafe for putting scalding coffee on the table to drink.
transitive verbsued, suing
- to appeal to; petition; beseech
- Archaic to be a suitor of; woo
- to petition (a court) for legal redress
- to bring civil action against or prosecute in a court of law in seeking justice or redress of wrongs
- to carry (an action) through to its final decision
Origin of sueMiddle English suen ; from Old French sivre, suir ; from Vulgar Latin an unverified form sequere, for Classical Latin sequi, to follow: see sequent
- to make an appeal; petition; plead (for or to)
- Archaic to pay suit; woo
- to institute legal proceedings in court; bring suit
verbsued sued, su·ing, sues
- Law To initiate or pursue legal proceedings against (another party).
- Archaic To court; woo.
- Obsolete To make a petition to; appeal to; beseech.
- Law To initiate or pursue legal proceedings; bring suit.
- To make an appeal or entreaty: “When you have gone too far to recede, do not sue to me for leniency” (Charles Dickens).
- Archaic To pursue a courtship; woo.
Origin of sueMiddle English sewen, from Anglo-Norman suer, from Vulgar Latin *sequere, to follow, from Latin sequī; see sekw-1 in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present sues, present participle suing, simple past and past participle sued)
- 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.iv:
- though oft looking backward, well she vewd, / Her selfe freed from that foster insolent, / And that it was a knight, which now her sewd, / Yet she no lesse the knight feard, then that villein rude.
- To file a legal action against someone, generally a non-criminal action.
- To seek by request; to make application; to petition; to entreat; to plead.
- (falconry, of a hawk) To clean (the beak, etc.).
- (nautical) To leave high and dry on shore.
- to sue a ship
- (informal) A Mary Sue (type of character in fiction).