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

Definition of hurtful

: causing injury, detriment, or suffering : damaging

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 Tell him his rants are hurtful and verbally abusive. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, 3 Apr. 2022 Some of the language from these leaders has been disturbing to them, and hurtful. Renata Brito, The Christian Science Monitor, 1 Mar. 2022 Yes, there were hurtful and repugnant remarks offered by Tim during a radio interview about gay rights. Ira Winderman,, 20 Feb. 2022 And every Friday, Kovacs and Kragthorpe show clips from across the NFL that highlight helpful and hurtful decisions that other NFL teams have recently made in the last two minutes of halves and games. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, 9 Feb. 2022 For Black people, the story—of the unlawful arrest and prosecution of the five Black and Latino teenagers known as the Central Park Five—is hurtful but not surprising. Paulina Jayne Isaac, SELF, 8 Feb. 2022 Killingly students, speaking to the state Board of Education on Wednesday, highlighted these comments are particularly hurtful. Seamus Mcavoy, Hartford Courant, 8 Apr. 2022 Yet the Chicago restaurant’s owners say the fallout has been particularly hurtful because their business was actually founded by a Ukrainian chef, and many current employees also hail from Ukraine. Chicago Tribune Staff,, 11 Mar. 2022 Make no mistake, notwithstanding the intentional circuitous and deceptive talk about finances, weighted factors and other explanations, the end result will be very hurtful for school children in affected districts., 18 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of hurtful

1526, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About hurtful

Time Traveler for hurtful

Time Traveler

The first known use of hurtful was in 1526

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near hurtful

hurt for



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for hurtful

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hurtful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for hurtful


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

Nglish: Translation of hurtful for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!