\ 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

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 The rollout of vaccinations has allowed the U.S. economy to open more fully, particularly boosting real-estate stocks most hurt by the shutdowns. Karen Langley, WSJ, 16 June 2021 The bill provides aid for the restaurant industry, which was badly hurt by COVID-19-related shutdowns. Daniela Altimari,, 15 June 2021 Bridge said several national housing law projects say the CDC ban should protect all tenants hurt by COVID-19, but judges are handling the situations differently., 15 June 2021 But the Indiana All-Stars, hurt by 35% shooting, were unable to shake Kentucky until that second-half run. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, 13 June 2021 Both states have sued over the Biden administration’s policies, arguing that border states are hurt the most by the relaxing of Trump-era border and enforcement measures. Adam Shaw, Fox News, 12 June 2021 Even with the automakers being hurt by the chip shortage, the industry has come roaring back to a level that was inconceivable a year ago. Chris Isidore, CNN, 11 June 2021 Right-hander Kohl Stewart lasted only four innings and was hurt by two walks to Cardinals starting pitcher Johan Oviedo, who scored both times. Meghan Montemurro,, 11 June 2021 So far, not one event has been scheduled this year and the couple is relying on their savings and a federal loan from an emergency program to help businesses hurt by the pandemic. New York Times, 7 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Even with the new loans, grants and other help, the riots and lack of insurance hurt. Dee Depass, Star Tribune, 30 May 2021 No spoilers, but both June Squibb and Ellen Burstyn appear as guest stars in the episode, and Janney’s performance of Bonnie’s lifelong hurt, shame, and rage is blistering. Tara Ariano, Vulture, 7 May 2021 The only other victim of the incident, a civilian hurt during an initial barrage of gunfire, remains in stable condition Wednesday with non-life-threatening injuries, police confirmed. Zach Murdock,, 14 Apr. 2021 The person who behaves badly behaves so because of hurt, actual and expected, and lashes out in self-defense, as a cornered animal might. Scott Barry Kaufman, Scientific American, 23 Feb. 2021 That hurt to hear, but more than that, what was hurtful was that no one was coming to Earth anymore, now that it had been scaled back to what was, in all honesty, no more than a small and somewhat eclectic collection of, well, stuff. Seija Rankin,, 5 Jan. 2021 While the stories carry a mostly positive connotation, the film also depicts tales of pain and hurt. Shelby Stewart, Chron, 27 May 2021 There is nothing a world of best intentions can do to vanquish that hurt. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 25 May 2021 Cousins, who played hurt on Golden State’s 2019 team that lost in the Finals to Toronto, then suffered a season-ending injury with the Lakers last season before their title run began, now will have another chance to chase title glory. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, 26 Apr. 2021

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

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

19 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hurt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on hurt

Nglish: Translation of hurt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hurt for Arabic Speakers


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