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

There have been trolls who’ve made up stories and said hurtful things about the survivors of the shooting. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "Grace VanderWaal, Parkland Student Sofie Whitney Talk School Safety & Healing Power of Music Before March for Our Lives," 22 Mar. 2018 And this, my friends, is the reason that so many people took issue with not only Kanye’s hurtful rhetoric but also with the use of his voice and his power to potentially push the needle the wrong way. Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root, "Trump Just Thanked Kanye for Doubling His Poll Numbers; Here’s Why This Has Become Dangerous," 4 May 2018 His language is hurtful, insensitive, privileged and exclusionary. P.j. O’rourke, WSJ, "Five Best: P.J. O’Rourke on Political Satires," 27 Sep. 2018 At the time, the designer cyberbullied the singer, calling her some hurtful words on Instagram. Devon Elizabeth, Allure, "People Think Selena Gomez's "Ugly" Hair Clip Is Shading Stefano Gabbana," 13 Sep. 2018 Instead of brushing off the hurtful (and truly ridiculous) comments, the gossip empowered Reinhart to clap back in the name of self-love., "Lili Reinhart Responds To Pregnancy Rumors, Though She Shouldn't Have To," 29 May 2018 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

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

10 May 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

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