\ ˈhərt How to pronounce hurt (audio) \
hurt; hurting

Definition of hurt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to inflict with physical pain : wound He hurt his back while moving some boxes. was seriously hurt in a car accident You're hurting my arm!
b : to do substantial or material harm to : damage the dry summer has hurt the land
2a : to cause emotional pain or anguish to : offend never meant to hurt you got her feelings hurt
b : to be detrimental to : hamper charges of graft hurt his chances of being elected

intransitive verb

1a : to suffer pain or grief He says his tooth hurts. has been hurting ever since learning of her friend's betrayal
b : to be in need usually used with for hurting for money
2 : to cause damage or distress hit where it hurts



Definition of hurt (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a cause of injury or damage : blow this tower of granite, weathering the hurts of so many ages— R. W. Emerson
2a : a bodily injury or wound
b : mental or emotional distress or anguish : suffering getting past the hurt of a bitter divorce
3 : wrong, harm subordinating cosmic to moral considerations, to the hurt of both— M. R. Cohen

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Other Words from hurt


hurt adjective
hurter noun

Choose the Right Synonym for hurt


injure, harm, hurt, damage, impair, mar mean to affect injuriously. injure implies the inflicting of anything detrimental to one's looks, comfort, health, or success. badly injured in an accident harm often stresses the inflicting of pain, suffering, or loss. careful not to harm the animals hurt implies inflicting a wound to the body or to the feelings. hurt by their callous remarks damage suggests injury that lowers value or impairs usefulness. a table damaged in shipping impair suggests a making less complete or efficient by deterioration or diminution. years of smoking had impaired his health mar applies to injury that spoils perfection (as of a surface) or causes disfigurement. the text is marred by many typos

Examples of hurt in a Sentence


Be careful with that knife or you could hurt yourself. Ouch! You're hurting my arm! She was badly hurt in a car accident. My tooth still hurts me. When I woke up this morning I hurt all over. Their lack of interest in her work hurt her deeply. You're only hurting yourself by holding a grudge against them. It hurt me to see her go. The lack of rain has hurt the corn crop. If we lose this game it will seriously hurt our chances of making the play-offs.


Her sympathy eased the hurt he felt after his dog's death. They felt a great hurt after their bitter divorce. She tried to put past hurts behind her.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Deb VanderGaast, a child care provider who runs the center where Alcaraz’s daughter Paysen is enrolled, says that providers are hurting almost as much as parents are. Chloe Angyal, Marie Claire, "The Cost of Child Care Is Crushing American Families. What Will the Presidential Candidates Do About It?," 15 Apr. 2019 That’s in part because tariffs are now acutely hurting parts of the US and China is starting to experience an economic slowdown. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The 7 biggest foreign news stories to watch in 2019, from Brexit to North Korea," 24 Dec. 2018 Let’s hope the two sides find a way to compromise—without any beer getting hurt in the process. Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "Trappist Monks Are Fighting to Save the Water in Their Sacred Beer," 2 May 2019 Mills started eight games for the Eagles last season before going on injured reserve in December after hurting a foot. Howard Fendrich, The Seattle Times, "DC police: Eagles’ Mills, Wiz’s Robinson arrested for fight," 13 Apr. 2019 With most pens costing around $100, losing one truly hurts. Melissa Riofrio, PCWorld, "Dell's Inspiron 7000 2-in-1 Black Edition laptops save you from lost pens and hot panels," 8 Jan. 2019 Garmin has always been more hardcore than other fitness tech companies, and that both helps and hurts its devices. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Garmin Vivosmart 4 review: An affordable band for easy fitness, SpO2 data," 27 Oct. 2018 All art dealers were hurt by the Great Recession of 2008 and its long aftermath. Town & Country, "Mary Boone Is Taking a Break," 18 Apr. 2019 Henderson's first concern was with safety; luckily, no one was hurt in the fire. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "A Fire at the Highlander Center Won’t Stop this Legendary Civil Rights Movement Training Organization," 10 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

All interlock to create an optical illusion that makes my brain hurt (in a good way). 8. Devon Abelman, Allure, "13 Unexpected Ways to Wear Winged Eyeliner That Are Taking Over Instagram," 14 Sep. 2018 Time was of the essence to Eldad Hagar and Lisa Chiarelli after their organization, Hope for Paws in Pasadena, CA, got a call about a hurt, homeless dog. Meredith Bodgas, Woman's Day, "The BIG Surprise Rescuers Got When They Saved an Injured Dog," 1 Oct. 2014 The goal is to get underneath the jealousy, which is usually a surface emotion for a deeper hurt. Anna Pulley, RedEye Chicago, "Ask Anna: Jealous over a partner’s past," 15 May 2017 Getting hurt, looking bad, being embarrassed, people making fun of them. Cortney Pellettieri, Good Housekeeping, ""It's Time for a Change"," 4 Sep. 2012 In the heat of the moment, one of the worst things to do is what people normally do—immerse themselves in their emotions and focus on their hurt. Samantha Boardman, Marie Claire, "How to Argue (Respectfully)," 28 Mar. 2019 The next time the world heard from him was at Cunningham’s sentencing, in a victim-impact statement that revealed the extent of his hurt. Alexander Huls, Popular Mechanics, "The Great Star Wars Heist," 7 Mar. 2019 Even with all my years of fat acceptance work and therapy and unlearning the toxic body messaging that everyone, especially women-identified or -presenting people, are exposed to all the time, this hurt. Kaye Toal, SELF, "I'm Fat and I'm Not Going to Lose Weight for My Wedding," 1 Mar. 2019 The fact that Marcel the monkey is also under the illusion that 52 years of hurt are coming to an end shows how ingenious this meme is., "It's Coming Home: 6 of the Best England World Cup Memes of the Summer So Far," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hurt.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hurt


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hurt

Verb and Noun

Middle English, probably from Anglo-French hurter to strike, prick, collide with, probably of Germanic origin; akin to Old Norse hrūtr male sheep

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Learn More about hurt

Dictionary Entries near hurt






hurt feelings

hurt for

Statistics for hurt

Last Updated

22 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hurt

The first known use of hurt was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for hurt



English Language Learners Definition of hurt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to cause pain or injury to (yourself, someone else, or a part of your body)
: to be a source or cause of pain
: to feel physical pain



English Language Learners Definition of hurt (Entry 2 of 2)

: mental or emotional pain


\ ˈhərt How to pronounce hurt (audio) \
hurt; hurting

Kids Definition of hurt

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to feel or cause pain My feet hurt. These shoes hurt.
2 : to do harm to : damage The drought has hurt crops.
3 : to cause to be sad “I am sure none of my boys and girls in Room 13 would purposely … hurt anyone's feelings …”— Eleanor Estes, The Hundred Dresses
4 : to make poorer or more difficult The fumble hurt our team's chance of winning.



Kids Definition of hurt (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : an injury or wound to the body
2 : mental or emotional pain



Kids Definition of hurt (Entry 3 of 3)

: physically or emotionally injured a hurt toe hurt feelings

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More from Merriam-Webster on hurt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hurt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hurt

Spanish Central: Translation of hurt

Nglish: Translation of hurt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hurt for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hurt

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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