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 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 In essence, these trends are part of a wider cultural reexamination of hurtful narratives, and a celebration of the marginalized people that those narratives have long erased or ignored. Aja Romano, Vox, "Dank no more: internet memes are evolving from edgy to cute.," 3 Oct. 2018 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

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

5 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

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