Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

painful

play
adjective pain·ful \ˈpān-fəl\

Simple Definition of painful

  • : causing pain to your body

  • : causing emotional pain

Full Definition of painful

pain·ful·ler play \-fə-lər\ pain·ful·lest

  1. 1 a :  feeling or giving pain <a painful injury> b :  irksome, annoying

  2. 2 :  requiring effort or exertion <a long painful trip>

  3. 3 archaic :  careful, diligent

pain·ful·ly play \-f(ə-)lē\ adverb
pain·ful·ness play \-fəl-nəs\ noun

Examples of painful

  1. I got a painful sunburn.

  2. We can't ignore our country's painful history of slavery.

  3. His questions brought up a lot of painful memories.

  4. It was painful to watch.



14th Century

First Known Use of painful

14th century

Rhymes with painful


Medical Dictionary

painful

play
adjective pain·ful \ˈpān-fəl\

Medical Definition of painful

pain·ful·ler \-fə-lər\play pain·ful·lest

  1. :  feeling or giving pain

  2. pain·ful·ly \-f(ə-)lē\play adverb






Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

February 14, 2016

to hug and kiss another person

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

2.2 pounds 100 pounds 196.5 pounds 16.96 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ