suffering-n; 3 Senses

Sense Number 1: a state of physical pain or malady

Commentary: SUFFERING[+state][+physical][+malady][+painful]
NOTE: implies physical hurt of an individual

John experienced a lot of suffering after his tooth was extracted.
This ointment helps reduce the suffering from the inflammation.
Shingles caused Bob's grandfather great suffering.
The patient was treated for suffering from frostbite.

PropBank: NM
WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 1

Sense Number 2: a general circumstance of misery, hardship

Commentary: SUFFERING[+state][+circumstance][+hardship]
NOTE: implies ongoing or widespread situation of hardship

The suffering of the Iraqi people has been enormous.
Their company is experiencing some pain and suffering through this economic downturn.
The book described the sufferings of the lives of the saints.

PropBank: suffering.01
WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 2

Sense Number 3: emotional state of unhappiness

Commentary: SUFFERING[+state][+emotional][+unhappiness]
NOTE: implies an unhappy emotional state of an individual
NOTE: need -not- imply a physical ailment or pain (Sense 1)

The constant ridicule at school caused the boy a lot of suffering.
His suffering knew no bounds at the death of his wife.
Mary's suffering over her bad haircut seemed a bit excessive to Sally.

PropBank: suffering.01
WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 3, 4