\ 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 Meanwhile, a ban on U.S. companies supplying tech to Huawei is hurting its business; the company is struggling live without the Google Android software that’s powered its smartphones for so long. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Sidewalk Labs’ Toronto project was dead on arrival," 13 May 2020 Americans’ economic distress could hurt Trump’s re-election prospects. Tessa Berenson, Time, "Jared Kushner Admits There's 'Risk' in Reopening the Country Too Soon," 12 May 2020 Because total eradication is so hard, antiviral drugs instead aim to limit replication to low levels that cannot hurt the body. Michael Waldholz, Scientific American, "Three Ways to Make Coronavirus Drugs in a Hurry," 12 May 2020 If a prospective Cabinet nominee were linked to a scandal or a campaign trail embarrassment, that could hurt Biden’s campaign by bring negative attention or distracting the media and voters from his primary message. Christopher Devine, The Conversation, "For Biden, naming Cabinet before election would be a big risk," 7 May 2020 To avoid missing out on crucial decisions and discussions, people start checking messages several times an hour, hurting both their wellbeing and productivity. Amir Salihefendić, Quartz at Work, "When it comes to team communication, faster isn’t always better," 7 May 2020 Restrictions on shopping, dining, and travel in response to the Covid-19 global pandemic significantly hurt US exports, widening the US trade deficit. Karen Ho, Quartz, "The US trade deficit is ballooning as international travel plummets," 5 May 2020 People all over the country are hurting—in most places, the $1,200 stimulus check barely covers rent—but the effects will be especially pernicious here. Dan Chiasson, The New York Review of Books, "Pandemic Journal," 29 Apr. 2020 That has really hurt our pricing at the dock and at the store. Rebecca Norris, Country Living, "Captain Keith Colburn Shares Special Message of Hope Ahead of the 'Deadliest Catch' Season 16 Premiere," 14 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Still, the hurt is likely to be spread much more widely across the world, from commodity-dependent countries like Angola and Oman, to energy giants like Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Jack Farchy,, "Global Oil Producers Face Brutal Reckoning After Epic OPEC+ Fail," 5 May 2020 The hurt my beloved father-in-law has caused by siding with my mother-in-law in cutting off contact has been harder on me than my cancer diagnosis., "Dear Annie: We’re tired of our adult son treating us like his personal piggy bank," 24 Aug. 2019 Hulu’s beautifully made, achy-breaky adaptation of , is here to reckon with the possibilities of how first love feels — the thrumming ecstasies and deepest hurts. Hank Stuever, Washington Post, "‘Normal People’ is the soaring, achy, authentic cure for anyone who’s sick of rom-coms," 28 Apr. 2020 Maryland’s Larry Hogan and New York’s Andrew Cuomo said in a statement on Saturday that the state-at-home orders most states have implemented were necessary to protect the public but hurt states’ economies. Naomi Nix,, "Governors Seek $500 Billion For Shortfalls as Congress Squabbles," 28 Apr. 2020 His stock was also likely hurt because Hill did not test at the combine due to injury. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's Lavert Hill, Sean McKeon sign UDFA deals after 2020 NFL draft," 26 Apr. 2020 But mostly readers found Chua to be smug and unlikable with her tales of depriving her two girls of rites of passage like sleepovers and forcing hours of homework and music practice on them — not that that hurt sales. Melonyce Mcafee, New York Times, "The Decade of the Parenting Manual," 19 Apr. 2020 The hurt is deeper this time, and the recovery period will be longer. Bollin Binkley And Jeff Amy, The Christian Science Monitor, "Colleges fight to survive coronavirus financial hit," 7 Apr. 2020 With more economic hurt almost certainly in the cards, some estimates predict unemployment will to a stunning 47 million in the weeks and months to come. Rey Mashayekhi, Fortune, "Everything you need to know about furloughs—and what they mean for workers during coronavirus," 30 Mar. 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

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hurt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 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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