hurt·​ful | \ˈhərt-fəl \

Definition of hurtful 

: causing injury, detriment, or suffering : damaging

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Other Words from hurtful

hurtfully \ˈhərt-​fə-​lē \ 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

The remarks were especially hurtful because many Jewish leaders had long considered Mr. Graham a friend. Bart Barnes, Washington Post, "Billy Graham, evangelist with worldwide following, dies at 99," 21 Feb. 2018 Things were said during the divorce that were very hurtful. Anonymous, Woman's Day, "After 20 Years of Marriage, My Dad Came Out As Gay," 7 July 2016 Several people told Friedland how inappropriate and hurtful his use of the word was. Candice Choi,, "Papa John is gone, but his image is still entwined with pizza chain," 12 July 2018 Well said Ireland Baldwin, daughter of Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger and subject of the former's infamous voicemail rant, penned a touching letter about acceptance and the hurtful affects of anonymous Internet comments on her Tumblr. Lauren Le Vine, Redbook, "Morning Headlines: Secrets of Highly Productive Lunchers, Crowd-Funded Babies — and More," 1 May 2013 Americans of a certain age have trouble believing that colleges and universities have rules banning supposedly hurtful speech. Michael Barone, National Review, "What’s Oozing Out of Campuses Is Polluting Society," 16 Feb. 2018 So when an online bully wrote hurtful words about their baby, Helen, Erin took matters into her own hands. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Erin Napier of HGTV's 'Home Town' Shut Down a Cruel Comment About Her Baby in the Best Way," 11 July 2018 However, his sudden and blatant favoritism toward others within our small team is extremely hurtful. Amy Dickinson,, "Loss of work friendship grieves colleague," 22 May 2018 The pointing was now accompanied by hurtful laughter and taunting. Britney Young, Glamour, "Before GLOW, There Was Never a Character Who Truly Felt Like Me," 29 June 2018

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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Statistics for hurtful

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hurtful

The first known use of hurtful was in 1526

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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 \

Kids Definition of hurtful

: causing injury or suffering hurtful gossip

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More from Merriam-Webster on hurtful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hurtful

Spanish Central: Translation of hurtful

Nglish: Translation of hurtful for Spanish Speakers

Comments on hurtful

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having a pattern of small flowers

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