hurtful

adjective

hurt·​ful ˈhərt-fəl How to pronounce hurtful (audio)
: causing injury, detriment, or suffering : damaging
hurtfully adverb
hurtfulness noun

Examples of hurtful in a Sentence

She can't forgive him for the hurtful things he said. Their comments were really hurtful to me.
Recent Examples on the Web Choose your words carefully, and steer clear of controversial topics or any anecdotes that could be embarrassing or hurtful to the couple (i.e., past relationships). Jordan Greene, Peoplemag, 11 Nov. 2023 Not everything was hurtful; much of life was good during those times. Lynn Dewoskin Covarrubias, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Oct. 2023 Resources available on the Words Matter website encourage adults to avoid shouting, insults, putdowns or name calling when talking to children, as well as thinking before speaking and taking time to repair a relationship with the child after something hurtful has been said. Issy Ronald, CNN, 2 Oct. 2023 Having a sense of this can help ease some of the lasting effects of experiencing another's hurtful actions. Caroline Chirichella, Parents, 30 Oct. 2023 Jessica Roiz: No Bad Bunny song can ever be hurtful, IMO. Leila Cobo, Billboard, 24 Oct. 2023 The Bravo executive asked about the real estate agent’s recent claims on a podcast that Sai’s confessionals bothered her and found her comments about her shakshuka and cheese hurtful. Esther Kang, Peoplemag, 23 Oct. 2023 The recent mockery of Feinstein, amid her weakened physical state, had been hurtful, Harman said. Noah Bierman, Los Angeles Times, 29 Sep. 2023 On social media, and in society at large, women of all ages are unpacking how hurtful purity culture can be, and how toxic and sexist the messages gleaned from it can be (the hashtag #purityculture on TikTok has more than 450 million video views, mainly from people decrying it). Stephanie McNeal, Glamour, 19 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hurtful.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1526, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hurtful was in 1526

Dictionary Entries Near hurtful

Cite this Entry

“Hurtful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hurtful. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

hurtful

adjective
hurt·​ful ˈhərt-fəl How to pronounce hurtful (audio)
: causing injury or suffering : damaging
hurtfully adverb
hurtfulness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on hurtful

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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