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 The treatment of immigrants under the stimulus bill has struck some policy experts as hurtful. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Americans married to immigrants might not qualify for stimulus checks," 21 Apr. 2020 The page will also include links to undo the post, and to get more information about why the post’s language might be seen as hurtful to the reader. Rex Crum, The Mercury News, "Instagram wants users to think twice about what they may be posting," 9 July 2019 This response, even in the heat of rage, is Bachelorette-ready — as is the way Clare immediately handles Juan Pablo’s hurtful comments. Ariana Romero,, "Clare Was The Obvious Bachelorette Pick 6 Years Ago — This Is Why She Lost It," 15 Apr. 2020 The bullying can be indirect (if your account gets hacked and the bully posts things that are untrue), or direct (the bully directly messages you with hurtful comments), according to Christina Maxouris, CNN, "A child drove 200 miles to meet a stranger. Here's how to make sure your kid doesn't do the same," 25 Sep. 2019 AAJA National ✔ @aaja There has been a torrent of hurtful and racist remarks and actions targeted at Americans of Asian descent amid the coronavirus outbreak. NBC News, "Politicians, journalists, celebrities call out racist remarks against Asians," 19 Mar. 2020 My words were hurtful and hateful and have no place in this world. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Mitch Barnhart: Consequences coming for fan who yelled racial slur at Rupp Arena," 5 Mar. 2020 Far too many people hide behind their keyboard and write vicious, hurtful and despicable comments about people on social media. Daniela Altimari,, "In run-up to Election Day, a vicious tone on social media in several Connecticut races," 22 Oct. 2019 Others have often directed the word at her in hurtful and derogatory ways—a common experience among many people living with mental illnesses. Self, "No, You Shouldn’t Call Someone ‘Crazy.’ But Do We Have to Ban the Word Entirely?," 27 Nov. 2019

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

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hurtful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for hurtful


How to pronounce hurtful (audio)

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

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