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 hurtfully (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

For people who are living with cancer, the side effect of hair loss can be an emotional experience, and comments like those from Joey's airplane seatmate could be extremely hurtful. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Joey King Says an Airplane Passenger Thought She Had Cancer Because of Her Shaved Head," 18 Nov. 2018 Hopefully this time, her mommy shamers will think twice before writing something hurtful and judgmental. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Tori Roloff Shuts Down Shamers After Getting a Lot of "Negative Comments" on Instagram," 17 Dec. 2018 And this is especially true for people who were put on diets or subjected to hurtful remarks about their bodies early in life. Abby Langer, SELF, "How to Rid Yourself of the Diet Mentality and Stop Dieting Once and For All," 6 Jan. 2019 Just like with anyone else, cheating rumors can be hurtful and potentially damaging to the relationship. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner Responded to Internet Cheating Prank About Travis Scott," 6 Dec. 2018 Not for the admission officers applying tired and deeply hurtful ethnic tropes. Michael Li, Vox, "I support affirmative action. But Harvard really is hurting Asian Americans.," 18 Oct. 2018 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

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

15 Mar 2019

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 How to pronounce hurtful (audio) \

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

What made you want to look up hurtful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to corrupt or become corrupted

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