noun \ˈpān\

: the physical feeling caused by disease, injury, or something that hurts the body

: mental or emotional suffering : sadness caused by some emotional or mental problem

: someone or something that causes trouble or makes you feel annoyed or angry

Full Definition of PAIN

a :  usu. localized physical suffering associated with bodily disorder (as a disease or an injury); also :  a basic bodily sensation induced by a noxious stimulus, received by naked nerve endings, characterized by physical discomfort (as pricking, throbbing, or aching), and typically leading to evasive action
b :  acute mental or emotional distress or suffering :  grief
plural :  the throes of childbirth
plural :  trouble, care, or effort taken to accomplish something <was at pains to reassure us>
:  one that irks or annoys or is otherwise troublesome —often used in such phrases as pain in the neck
pain·less \-ləs\ adjective
pain·less·ly adverb
pain·less·ness noun
on pain of or under pain of
:  subject to penalty or punishment of <made to leave the country on pain of death>

Examples of PAIN

  1. The medication may upset your stomach but if you experience acute abdominal pain call your doctor.
  2. I've had chronic back pain since the accident.
  3. The medicine provides 12 hours of pain relief.
  4. I feel a dull pain if I touch the bruise.
  5. the pain of a difficult childhood
  6. It is a story about the joys and pains of life.
  7. Rush hour traffic is such a pain.
  8. This orange is a pain to peel.

Origin of PAIN

Middle English, from Anglo-French peine, from Latin poena, from Greek poinē payment, penalty; akin to Greek tinein to pay, tinesthai to punish, Avestan kaēnā revenge, Sanskrit cayate he revenges
First Known Use: 14th century



: to cause (someone) to feel emotional pain : to make (someone) upset, sad, worried, etc.

Full Definition of PAIN

transitive verb
:  to make suffer or cause distress to :  hurt
archaic :  to put (oneself) to trouble or exertion
intransitive verb
archaic :  suffer
:  to give or have a sensation of pain

Examples of PAIN

  1. As much as it pains me to admit it, she was right.
  2. <my poor head was paining so from all that racket>

First Known Use of PAIN

14th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Physical suffering associated with a bodily disorder (such as a disease or injury) and accompanied by mental or emotional distress. Pain, in its simplest form, is a warning mechanism that helps protect an organism by influencing it to withdraw from harmful stimuli (such as a pinprick). In its more complex form, such as in the case of a chronic condition accompanied by depression or anxiety, it can be difficult to isolate and treat. Pain receptors, found in the skin and other tissues, are nerve fibres that react to mechanical, thermal, and chemical stimuli. Pain impulses enter the spinal cord and are transmitted to the brain stem and thalamus. The perception of pain is highly variable among individuals; it is influenced by previous experiences, cultural attitudes (including gender stereotypes), and genetic makeup. Medication, rest, and emotional support are the standard treatments. The most potent pain-relieving drugs are opium and morphine, followed by less-addictive substances and non-narcotic analgesics such as aspirin and ibuprofen.


Next Word in the Dictionary: pained
Previous Word in the Dictionary: pai–lou
All Words Near: pain

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up pain? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).