pain

noun
\ ˈpān How to pronounce pain (audio) \

Definition of pain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : a localized or generalized unpleasant bodily sensation or complex of sensations that causes mild to severe physical discomfort and emotional distress and typically results from bodily disorder (such as injury or disease) acute shooting pains also : the state marked by the presence of such sensations was in constant pain
(2) : a basic bodily sensation that is induced by a noxious stimulus, is received by naked nerve endings, is associated with actual or potential tissue damage, is characterized by physical discomfort (such as pricking, throbbing, or aching), and typically leads to evasive action
b : mental or emotional distress or suffering : grief the pain she had felt at those humiliating words— Morley Callaghan
2 informal : one that irks or annoys or is otherwise troublesome … almost everything requires a password these days, and it can be a real pain to remember them all.— Michael Cahlin often used in such phrases as pain in the neck or (impolite) pain in the ass/buttHis little sister is a real pain in the neck.
3 pains plural : trouble, care, or effort taken to accomplish something was at pains to reassure us
4 pains plural : the throes of childbirth
5 : punishment the pains and penalties of crime
on pain of or under pain of
: subject to penalty or punishment of made to leave the country on pain of death

pain

verb
pained; paining; pains

Definition of pain (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make suffer or cause distress to : hurt
2 archaic : to put (oneself) to trouble or exertion

intransitive verb

1 : to give or have a sensation of pain
2 archaic : suffer

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Other Words from pain

Noun

painless \ ˈpān-​ləs How to pronounce painless (audio) \ adjective
painlessly adverb
painlessness noun

Synonyms for pain

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of pain in a Sentence

Noun The medication may upset your stomach but if you experience acute abdominal pain call your doctor. I've had chronic back pain since the accident. The medicine provides 12 hours of pain relief. I feel a dull pain if I touch the bruise. the pain of a difficult childhood It is a story about the joys and pains of life. Rush hour traffic is such a pain. This orange is a pain to peel. Verb As much as it pains me to admit it, she was right. my poor head was paining so from all that racket
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, fever, anemia, dehydration, and potentially kidney failure. Chris Coppola, azcentral, "Another Arizona E. coli infection traced to romaine lettuce from California," 26 Nov. 2019 In one version of the disease, patients experience periodic attacks, with symptoms that include muscle spasms, chronic pain, problems walking, memory loss and slurred speech. oregonlive, "Pharma execs: Thirst for profit drives high drug prices," 25 Nov. 2019 That side is nonetheless suggested by the dimensions implied in the performance, and that comes through in the weighty subjects—such as pain, anger, loneliness, frustration, and death—that are addressed in the course of Rogers’s broadcasts. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "The Wondrous Heroism of Mr. Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”," 21 Nov. 2019 White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham has denied that Mr. Trump experienced any chest pain, issuing a statement from the president's physician on Monday night. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "Trump dismisses rumors about his health and accuses the media of being "sick"," 19 Nov. 2019 Stenting and bypass procedures, however, did help some patients with intractable chest pain, called angina. Gina Kolata, SFChronicle.com, "Heart surgical procedures often unwarranted, study finds," 16 Nov. 2019 Despite their aches and pains, seniors still give us so much. Lois Szymanski, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Szymanski: Caring for those who cared for us is a moral obligation," 15 Nov. 2019 Many curvy girls find packing a pain, especially since the clothes are larger. Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, "This Curvy Travelista Shows You How To Jetset In Style," 31 Oct. 2019 Researchers will assess patients' pain, distress, blood pressure, heart rate and saliva cortisol at the beginning and end of each infusion visit. Andrea Leinfelder, Houston Chronicle, "Can exposure to nature alleviate pain, distress during chemotherapy?," 29 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb It’s been written that he was addicted to pain killers. Greg Moore, azcentral, "Poet remembers late NFL receiver Charles Rogers as source of hope, inspiration for blighted Michigan hometown," 25 Nov. 2019 Kakaban Lake, though, is not the only place in Indonesia to swim, pain free, with jellyfish. Richard C. Paddock, New York Times, "A Lake With Stingless Jellyfish and Hints of Hotter Seas," 4 Nov. 2019 Grilled quail, stuffed with merguez sausage and pain de mais, gets an ode-to-spring medley of fava beans, asparagus and morel mushrooms (chanterelles by now). Phil Vettel, chicagotribune.com, "Triple-threat dining: Aboyer and Silencieux join George Trois for a Winnetka trifecta," 5 Aug. 2019 Chambers and colleagues from Tufts University and the Office Ergonomics Research Committee recently conducted a review of sit-stand desk research on a variety of health and work benefits ranging from posture to productivity to pain relief. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Sit, stand, sit: The new science about how to best use your standing desk," 12 Sep. 2019 Another important consideration: Research suggests that marijuana consumers may have increased sensitivity to pain following surgery. Naomi Martin, BostonGlobe.com, "No eating, no drinking, and now, no marijuana before surgery, doctors say," 21 Aug. 2019 For women, a heart attack could feel similar to indigestion—not pain in the chest. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "25 years of women being underrepresented in medical research, in charts," 3 July 2019 The shortcomings and travails of both countries pain me. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "Patrios," 16 Sep. 2019 Related Articles Martin’s boyfriend told police that his girlfriend is addicted to pain medication. Sarah Horner, Twin Cities, "Little Canada woman stabbed friend to death while high on meth, charges say," 6 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pain.' 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 pain

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 5

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for pain

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French peine, from Latin poena, from Greek poinē payment, penalty; akin to Greek tinein to pay, tinesthai to punish, Avestan kaēnā revenge, Sanskrit cayate he revenges

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Time Traveler for pain

Time Traveler

The first known use of pain was in the 14th century

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Statistics for pain

Last Updated

30 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Pain.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pain. Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for pain

pain

noun
How to pronounce pain (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the physical feeling caused by disease, injury, or something that hurts the body
: mental or emotional suffering : sadness caused by some emotional or mental problem
informal : someone or something that causes trouble or makes you feel annoyed or angry

pain

verb

English Language Learners Definition of pain (Entry 2 of 2)

formal : to cause (someone) to feel emotional pain : to make (someone) upset, sad, worried, etc.

pain

noun
\ ˈpān How to pronounce pain (audio) \

Kids Definition of pain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : physical suffering that accompanies a bodily disorder (as a disease or an injury) The medicine relieves pain.
2 : a very unpleasant feeling (as a prick or an ache) that is caused especially by something harmful I have a pain in my side.
3 : suffering of the mind or emotions : grief The humiliation brought her great pain.
4 pains plural : great care or effort My sister took pains with the garden.
5 : someone or something annoying

Other Words from pain

painful \ ˈpān-​fəl \ adjective
painfully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb
painless \ -​ləs \ adjective

pain

verb
pained; paining

Kids Definition of pain (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to cause physical or mental suffering in or to It pains me to think of it.
2 : to give or feel physical or mental suffering The suckers, which were fastened to me and pained greatly, lessened their hold.— Scott O'Dell, Island of the Blue Dolphins

pain

noun
\ ˈpān How to pronounce pain (audio) \

Medical Definition of pain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : a localized or generalized unpleasant bodily sensation or complex of sensations that causes mild to severe physical discomfort and emotional distress and typically results from bodily disorder (as injury or disease) acute shooting pains also : the state marked by the presence of such sensations was in constant pain
(2) : a basic bodily sensation that is induced by a noxious stimulus, is received by naked nerve endings, is associated with actual or potential tissue damage, is characterized by physical discomfort (as pricking, throbbing, or aching), and typically leads to evasive action
b : mental or emotional distress or suffering
2 pains plural : the protracted series of involuntary contractions of the uterine musculature that constitute the major factor in parturient labor and that are often accompanied by considerable pain her pains had begun

Medical Definition of pain (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make suffer or cause distress to

intransitive verb

: to give or have a sensation of pain

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pain

noun

Legal Definition of pain

2a : physical discomfort associated with bodily disorder (as disease or injury)
b : acute mental or emotional suffering
on pain of or under pain of
: subject to penalty or punishment of ordered not to leave the country on pain of death

Other Words from pain

painless adjective
painlessly adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on pain

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pain

Spanish Central: Translation of pain

Nglish: Translation of pain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pain for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pain

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