hurt·​ful | \ ˈhərt-fəl How to pronounce hurtful (audio) \

Definition of hurtful

: causing injury, detriment, or suffering : damaging

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Other Words from hurtful

hurtfully \ ˈhərt-​fə-​lē How to pronounce hurtful (audio) \ 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 Craig Phemister, the lawyer who is representing the 19 residents who filed suit, said the city’s response has been hurtful. New York Times, "Raw Sewage Flooded Their Homes. They’re Still Waiting for Help.," 15 Apr. 2021 To hear it from a Miami Heat player is especially disappointing and hurtful to all those who work here, as well as the larger South Florida, Miami Heat and NBA communities. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "Patriots WR Julian Edelman, who is Jewish, reaches out to Heat's Meyers Leonard after slur," 10 Mar. 2021 Like all real literature, Shaking the Gates reminds us of the undeniable, confusing, hurtful fact that the world isn’t simple, good-or-evil. Dan Carsen, al, "Read, think, and shake your own gates," 6 Apr. 2021 This facet of the man, that Hemingway, while considered a prolific and thoughtful writer, was also considered a hurtful human being to others, was something that Burns says his team dealt with thoughtfully. Anne Easton, Forbes, "Ken Burns Says Taking On ‘Hemingway’ Scared Him, But Was All In To Take A Deep Dive Into The Author’s Complicated Life With New Docuseries," 4 Apr. 2021 Seth Richardson reports Husted did not apologize for using what many view as hurtful and offensive language targeting Asian Americans. Cameron Fields, cleveland, "Gov. Mike DeWine plans to vaccinate college kids: The Wake Up for Friday, April 2, 2021," 2 Apr. 2021 As a rule of thumb, people should aim to avoid gifts given in a workplace setting that are intimate and personal, as well as gag gifts that could potentially be hurtful or seen as insensitive. Johnny C. Taylor Jr., USA TODAY, "How to address an offensive gift at office holiday party: Ask HR," 31 Mar. 2021 State Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, who represents parts of lower Manhattan, said in an interview on Tuesday that the attack was hurtful for the city’s Asian community. Ben Chapman, WSJ, "NYPD Investigating Attack on Asian Woman in Midtown Manhattan as Possible Hate Crime," 30 Mar. 2021 Which brings us to Tennessee, the latest state to join the shameful list when Gov. Bill Lee signed yet another of these hurtful, unnecessary bills into law Friday. Paul Newberry, Star Tribune, "Column: Trans athletes not an issue but discrimination real," 27 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hurtful.' 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 hurtful

1526, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for hurtful

Time Traveler

The first known use of hurtful was in 1526

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Statistics for hurtful

Last Updated

22 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hurtful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for hurtful



English Language Learners Definition of hurtful

: causing injury or emotional pain especially : cruel or unkind


hurt·​ful | \ ˈhərt-fəl How to pronounce hurtful (audio) \

Kids Definition of hurtful

: causing injury or suffering hurtful gossip

More from Merriam-Webster on hurtful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hurtful

Nglish: Translation of hurtful for Spanish Speakers

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