from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. Law To petition (a court) for redress of grievances or recovery of a right.
  • transitive v. Law To institute proceedings against (a person) for redress of grievances.
  • transitive v. Law To carry (an action) through to a final decision.
  • transitive v. To court; woo.
  • transitive v. Obsolete To make a petition to; appeal to; beseech.
  • intransitive v. Law To institute legal proceedings; bring suit.
  • intransitive v. To make an appeal or entreaty: "I sue for grace, and thou deny'st me” ( Francis Quarles).
  • intransitive v. To pay court; woo.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To follow.
  • v. To file a legal action against someone, generally a non-criminal action.
  • v. To seek by request; to make application; to petition; to entreat; to plead.
  • v. To court.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To seek by request; to make application; to petition; to entreat; to plead.
  • intransitive v. To prosecute; to make legal claim; to seek (for something) in law.
  • intransitive v. To woo; to pay addresses as a lover.
  • intransitive v. To be left high and dry on the shore, as a ship.
  • transitive v. To follow up; to chase; to seek after; to endeavor to win; to woo.
  • transitive v.
  • transitive v. To seek justice or right from, by legal process; to institute process in law against; to bring an action against; to prosecute judicially.
  • transitive v. To proceed with, as an action, and follow it up to its proper termination; to gain by legal process.
  • transitive v. To clean, as the beak; -- said of a hawk.
  • transitive v. To leave high and dry on shore.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To follow; follow after; pursue; chase; follow in attendance; attend.
  • To follow up; follow out; continue.
  • To follow with entreaty; seek to persuade; entreat.
  • To seek after; try to win; seek the favor of; seek in marriage; woo.
  • To seek justice or right from by legal process; institute process in law against; prosecute in a civil action for the recovery of a real or supposed right: as, to sue one for debt; to sue one for damages in trespass.
  • To follow; come after, either as a consequence or in pursuit.
  • To make entreaty; entreat; petition; plead: usually with for.
  • To pay court, or pay one's addresses as a suitor or lover; play the lover; woo, or be a wooer.
  • To prosecute; make legal claim; seek for something in law: as, to sue for damages.
  • To issue; flow.
  • An old spelling of sew, sew, 2.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. institute legal proceedings against; file a suit against
  • n. French writer whose novels described the sordid side of city life (1804-1857)


Middle English sewen, from Anglo-Norman suer, from Vulgar Latin *sequere, to follow, from Latin sequī; see sekw-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman suer, siwer et al., Old French sivre ("follow after") ( > French suivre), from Vulgar Latin *sequere ("follow"), from Latin sequi. (Wiktionary)



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