1 of 2


hurt; hurting

transitive verb

: to inflict with physical pain : wound
He hurt his back while moving some boxes.
was seriously hurt in a car accident
You're hurting my arm!
: to do substantial or material harm to : damage
the dry summer has hurt the land
: to cause emotional pain or anguish to : offend
never meant to hurt you
got her feelings hurt
: to be detrimental to : hamper
charges of graft hurt his chances of being elected

intransitive verb

: to suffer pain or grief
He says his tooth hurts.
has been hurting ever since learning of her friend's betrayal
: to be in need
usually used with for
hurting for money
: to cause damage or distress
hit where it hurts
hurt adjective
hurter noun


2 of 2


: a cause of injury or damage : blow
this tower of granite, weathering the hurts of so many agesR. W. Emerson
: a bodily injury or wound
: mental or emotional distress or anguish : suffering
getting past the hurt of a bitter divorce
: wrong, harm
subordinating cosmic to moral considerations, to the hurt of bothM. R. Cohen
Choose the Right Synonym for hurt

injure, harm, hurt, damage, impair, mar mean to affect injuriously.

injure implies the inflicting of anything detrimental to one's looks, comfort, health, or success.

badly injured in an accident

harm often stresses the inflicting of pain, suffering, or loss.

careful not to harm the animals

hurt implies inflicting a wound to the body or to the feelings.

hurt by their callous remarks

damage suggests injury that lowers value or impairs usefulness.

a table damaged in shipping

impair suggests a making less complete or efficient by deterioration or diminution.

years of smoking had impaired his health

mar applies to injury that spoils perfection (as of a surface) or causes disfigurement.

the text is marred by many typos

Example Sentences

Verb Be careful with that knife or you could hurt yourself. Ouch! You're hurting my arm! She was badly hurt in a car accident. My tooth still hurts me. When I woke up this morning I hurt all over. Their lack of interest in her work hurt her deeply. You're only hurting yourself by holding a grudge against them. It hurt me to see her go. The lack of rain has hurt the corn crop. If we lose this game it will seriously hurt our chances of making the play-offs. Noun Her sympathy eased the hurt he felt after his dog's death. They felt a great hurt after their bitter divorce. She tried to put past hurts behind her. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Her daughter, Samantha Cain, 20, was critically hurt and remains in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Jennifer Edwards Baker, The Enquirer, 3 Mar. 2023 Two children, ages nine and six, were at the home and were not hurt, Ivey said. David Harris, Orlando Sentinel, 1 Mar. 2023 The Apple Watch version, along with car crash detection, had led to some false positives, with the watch dialing 911 when the users weren't hurt. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, 28 Feb. 2023 Who else got hurt? Including Malisa and Kero, a total of 19 people sustained some sort of injury during the incident, according to information from police. Jose R. Gonzalez, The Arizona Republic, 28 Feb. 2023 There’s just a lot of intangible things that come into it when players get hurt. Zach Osterman, The Indianapolis Star, 23 Feb. 2023 But kids get hurt or die from injuries at drastically different rates. Nada Hassanein, USA TODAY, 21 Feb. 2023 As the conflict drags on, more and more uncollected mines will likely become untethered and drift, and sooner or later someone is probably going to get hurt. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 16 Feb. 2023 Bron Breakker appeared to get hurt while attempting a (botched) belly-to-belly suplex. Alfred Konuwa, Forbes, 4 Feb. 2023
The bakery said in a Facebook post on March 9 that global supply-chain issues, local labor shortages and unforeseen severe weather hurt production. Jeanne Houck, The Enquirer, 14 Mar. 2023 Gary and Cameron both know a thing or two about familial hurt. Matthew Jacobs, Vulture, 11 Mar. 2023 After ten years of watching the Vanderpump Rules cast make up, break up and (almost) grow up on our screens, fans are clearly very invested in their lives and there is genuine hurt behind the outrage. Louis Staples, Rolling Stone, 6 Mar. 2023 Working through that hurt is the difference between a TKO and a championship belt. Ineye Komonibo,, 3 Mar. 2023 Advertisement The New Jersey native wanted the single to be relatable, like her other music, but less focused on the hurt that seeps through her previous albums. Olivia Mccormack, Washington Post, 1 Mar. 2023 Only in retrospect did the comedian’s hurt and anger peek through beneath his jokes. Mary Carole Mccauley, Baltimore Sun, 22 Feb. 2023 The album brings listeners through the process of acknowledging the hurt but presenting a light of hope, and Ellis says the songs lead to the confession of sins, leading to healing. Yolanda Baruch, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2023 But so too is Hae Sung’s confession of the hurt that liking Arthur causes him. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Jan. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hurt.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Verb and Noun

Middle English, probably from Anglo-French hurter to strike, prick, collide with, probably of Germanic origin; akin to Old Norse hrūtr male sheep

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hurt was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near hurt

Cite this Entry

“Hurt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
hurt; hurting
: to cause physical pain to
: to do harm to : damage
: to cause mental suffering to : offend
the teasing hurts me
: hamper entry 1
injuries hurt our chances of winning
: to feel or cause pain
my tooth hurts
hurter noun


2 of 2 noun
: a cause of injury or damage
: a physical injury or wound
: physical pain
: mental distress : suffering

More from Merriam-Webster on hurt

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