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

Yet YouTube’s current harassment and cyberbullying policies do state that content posted to deliberately humiliate someone, or content that makes hurtful personal comments about someone else, is in violation of its policies. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "YouTube drafting ‘creator-on-creator harassment’ rules after Steven Crowder incident," 12 July 2019 Diep expressed to us his intention was not to be hurtful. Priscella Vega,, "O.C. assemblyman apologizes to Jews over mailers many found offensive," 4 July 2019 Harris said Biden’s recollections of working with the two senators were hurtful. Washington Post, "Harris lands 2020 endorsement from 2 Black Caucus members," 1 July 2019 Privacy - Terms The hurtful social media posts were brought to Estes' attention by other students and parents. Diana Lambert, sacbee, "Rocklin teacher says cyberbullying drove her from the classroom," 7 June 2018 The arguments for such destruction were not unfamiliar to American leftists and identity-politics activists: Such icons were hurtful to particular marginalized groups and an affront to their dignity and therefore must vanish. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "The Cowardly Incoherence of Name-Changing, Statue-Toppling, and other Iconoclasms," 25 June 2019 Is the possibility of romance and FabFitFun deals worth all the hurtful comments from strangers? De Elizabeth, Glamour, "For The Bachelor Contestants, Is Finding Love and Spon-Con Deals Worth the Trolls?," 9 May 2019 DeVito’s project calls out some hurtful comments that his models have heard in the past by placing them directly on the models' faces—and his subjects had the opportunity to write responses to these remarks. Korin Miller, SELF, "This Photographer Is Documenting the Realities of Living With Skin Conditions," 14 June 2018 Mexico calls the potential tariffs hurtful to the economies of both countries and useless to slow the northbound flow of Central American migrants. Darlene Superville, The Denver Post, "GOP lawmakers warn White House they’ll try to block Trump’s Mexico tariffs," 4 June 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

19 Jul 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 complain fretfully

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