\ 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 forhurting 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

Verb 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. Noun 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 If someone says they were hurt during a blood draw, which occurs during drunk driving investigations, for example. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Eight can't wait': How Milwaukee police's use-of-force policy compares to reform standards proposed in national campaign," 10 June 2020 But let them be hurt with the rest of the entire school districts in Marion County or in the state. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, "'My hero was right here.' Friends, family celebrate 'Mr. North Central,' Paul Loggan," 1 Aug. 2020 When Brown first heard of Taylor’s death, he was hurt. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, "Jamon Brown using platform for activism during protests, COVID-19 pandemic in Louisville," 11 July 2020 Meticulous descriptions explain how to use a chainsaw so you won’t get hurt, how to prepare a home against the winter, how to stack logs on a sloping river bank, how to save a drowning man. Tim Parks, The New York Review of Books, "The Novels of Tension Between Freedom and Disaster," 10 July 2020 Matthew Drake Langston, a 26-year-old Trussville man, died Sunday, more than a week after he was hurt in a multi-vehicle accident. Carol Robinson |, al, "2 men dead following separate Birmingham traffic crashes," 6 July 2020 Demanding that people hand over their money or they will get hurt, where the threat is to harm their reputations rather than their bodies, is the social equivalent of a crime. Judith Martin, Washington Post, "Miss Manners: No good comes from mentioning money on social media," 6 July 2020 Perhaps the most obvious trade in the world right now is to sell U.S. stocks in the expectation that they will be hurt by the new coronavirus wave and buy stocks in Europe where it has been brought under control. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "For Investors, Sometimes the Obvious Coronavirus Trade Isn’t So Obvious," 5 July 2020 The Buckeyes may have won the 2014 national title because he got hurt and Cardale Jones took over. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Why J.T. Barrett as the Big Ten’s QB of the decade both does and doesn’t make sense: Buckeye Take," 4 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But turmoil within the group caused various lineup changes over the years, and with them, a lot of hurt, which culminated at the Sundance Film Festival premiere of their new documentary, The Go-Go's (dropping Friday on Showtime). Rosy Cordero,, "Belinda Carlisle says a lot of healing took place thanks to Go-Go's documentary," 1 Aug. 2020 The deaths of Floyd and other police brutality victims stirred deep-seeded hurt and anguish. Dallas News, "How the Dallas Mavericks have become ‘a model’ in the fight against racial injustice and inequality," 30 July 2020 The second interpretation bias involves the anticipation of hurt in ambiguous situations. Scott Barry Kaufman, Scientific American, "Unraveling the Mindset of Victimhood," 29 June 2020 Payton gave an impassioned speech about understanding the hurt that cultural appropriation causes and then went and did it again. Shannon Carlin,, "The Politician Season 2 Binge Club Recap: Episodes 1-7," 24 June 2020 Our governor played Spin the Bottle with the worst global pandemic of the past century, and Texas is in a world of hurt right now. Gilbert Garcia,, "Garcia: Abbott put politics before science, and Texas is paying the price," 26 June 2020 After their deaths, Alvin turned to schoolwork to distract from the hurt. USA Today, "These Black teens are turning 18 in Tamir Rice’s America," 22 June 2020 In her speech, Ionescu said her season being cut short hurt. oregonlive, "‘Keep dreaming’: Sabrina Ionescu delivers commencement address at University of Oregon graduation," 20 June 2020 The hard kind of hurt that doesn't heal up quickly. Seija Rankin,, "Get a first look at Ryan La Sala's anticipated sophomore novel, Be Dazzled," 18 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for hurt

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for hurt

Last Updated

5 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hurt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for hurt


How to pronounce hurt (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hurt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hurt

Spanish Central: Translation of hurt

Nglish: Translation of hurt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hurt for Arabic Speakers

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