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Allowed or tolerated to be present or do something but not appreciated or wanted. The mediator was required by the court order, so though neither side of the dispute is happy about it, he's been attending each meeting on sufferance.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Barely tolerated; agreed to but unwillingly. For example, They rarely put a non-academic on the panel, so obviously I was there on sufferance. This expression uses sufferance in the sense of "toleration," a usage obsolete except in this idiom. [Mid-1500s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
on ˈsufferanceif you do something on sufferance, somebody allows you to do it although they do not really want you to: He’s only staying here on sufferance.
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