Suffrage is the right to vote in public elections. Universal suffrage means everyone gets to vote, as opposed to only men, or property holders. Suffrage has nothing to do with "suffering," unless the wrong person is elected.

Female supporters of women's suffrage in 1906 were called suffragettes, because the French suffix –ette was trendy back then. But nowadays words with -ette are shunned because they imply the inferiority of women. So it seems that female supporters of a woman's right to vote were referred to by a sexist term.

Definitions of suffrage

n a legal right guaranteed by the 15th amendment to the US Constitution; guaranteed to women by the 19th amendment

right to vote, vote
universal suffrage
suffrage for all adults who are not disqualified by the laws of the country
Type of:
enfranchisement, franchise
a statutory right or privilege granted to a person or group by a government (especially the rights of citizenship and the right to vote)

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.