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Suffering is any unwanted[?] condition and the corrresponding negative emotion. It is usually associated with pain and unhappiness, but any condition can be suffering if it is unwanted. Antonyms include happiness or pleasure.

In a phrase like "suffering from a disease" emphasis is on having the disease, less on the unhappiness it causes.

Related terms are sadness and grief. Some view anger as a type of suffering.

Boredom, or ennui (a French word, from Old French[?] enui) is a reactive state to wearingly dull, repetitive, or tedious stimuli: suffering from a lack of interesting things to see, hear, etc., or do (physically or intellectually), while not in the mood of "doing nothing". Temporarily being in a situation of boredom may also be felt as a waste of time, but then it is usually considered worse than just that. Alternatively one may have the feeling that boredom is caused by having too much time.

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In Buddhism, suffering is called dukkha. The fundamental principles of Buddhism, the Four Noble Truths, describe dukkha and a method of ending it.


The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment[?], 1984 defines "torture" as involving "suffering":

"...the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions. "

Similarly, the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court, 1998, defines "torture" as a crime against humanity as involving "suffering":

""Torture" means the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, upon a person in the custody or under the control of the accused; except that torture shall not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to, lawful sanctions."


"Suffering belongs to the discipline of all Christ's followers (Romans 8:17; 2 Corinthians 1:7; Galatians 3:4; Philippians 3:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:5; 2 Timothy 2:12; 2 Timothy 3:12; James 5:10; 1 Peter 2:20 f.; 1 Peter 3:14, 1 Peter 3:17; 1 Peter 4:1, 1 Peter 4:13, 1 Peter 4:16; 1 Peter 5:10). Such suffering is called a suffering for God's or Christ's sake (Jeremiah 15:15; Acts 9:16; Philippians 1:29; 2 Timothy 1:12). This fellowship in suffering unites us with the saints of God in all times (James 5:10), and is indeed a fellowship with the Lord Himself (Philippians 3:10), who uses this discipline to mold us more and more according to His character."1 (http://bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Def.show/RTD/ISBE/Topic/Suffering)


An alternative meaning of "suffer" is "to allow".

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