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/butt His 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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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 The branding team should spend the bulk of its time and effort on more tangible things like competitive landscape, brand architecture, customer value proposition, customer pain points and go-to-market messaging. John Assalian, Forbes, "A No-Fluff Guide To Branding," 6 Apr. 2021 The companies also reported no serious side effects, although vaccine recipients may experience temporary pain and flu-like reactions immediately after injections. Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Pleasant Prairie site will play role in Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine distribution as UK approves vaccine's use," 6 Apr. 2021 And, as such, we are connected to pain and injustice … and to politics. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Politics and sports are forever intertwined; MLB pulling All-Star Game latest example," 4 Apr. 2021 By 2018, the girl developed complications such as chronic pain and other conditions. Morgan Cook, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Lawsuit accuses San Diego County officials of spying on hospitalized teen in botched abuse investigation," 4 Apr. 2021 Policy changes include new research into non-opioid pain management alternatives and long-term treatment outcomes to sustain recovery from addiction. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Chef initiative, ice fishing trash, Tribeca plans: News from around our 50 states," 31 Mar. 2021 Cannabis is a popular alternative treatment to opiates or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain management. New York Times, "How Arizona Won the Weed Legalization Race," 29 Mar. 2021 Tessa Isset of Neil Kelly Company, one of the largest remodeling firms in the Pacific Northwest, suggests the best place to start is thinking about your pain points. Mia Taylor, Better Homes & Gardens, "How Much Does It Really Cost to Renovate Your Outdoor Space?," 18 Mar. 2021 Brands that sell pain management solutions are also seeing sales surge. Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times, "Working from home takes a physical toll — and companies are trying to profit from that," 18 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Memories of speaking to Higgs just before his execution still pain Sherman Fields, who is on death row but has a resentencing for convictions in the killing of his girlfriend after escaping from a jail in Waco, Texas. Michael Tarm, Star Tribune, "On federal death row, inmates talk about Biden, executions," 22 Mar. 2021 Back in 2010, when McCarthy first was introduced to pain killers, the nuances of available substance abuse services didn’t matter to her. oregonlive, "Alcohol tax hike would greatly expand addiction treatment in Oregon, but opponents say the state should use existing taxes," 5 Mar. 2021 There is no one-size-fits-all approach to pain management. Kevyn Burger Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "How some older Minnesotans are learning to live well with chronic pain," 24 Feb. 2021 In his teens, trying to fit in meant trying a little weed and some alcohol, then some mushrooms, then LSD, and then on to pain pills and meth—because that’s what the other teens were doing. Popular Mechanics, "This Inmate Used Solitary Confinement to Learn Math. Now He's Solving the World's Hardest Equations," 21 Feb. 2021 That is the most common issue, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with 84.7 percent of those taking the vaccine reporting at least one local injection site reaction, usually pain where the shot was taken. Sig Christenson, ExpressNews.com, "Air Force major gets first shot as vaccine delivered to Lackland," 15 Dec. 2020 This led to surgery, which then led to an addiction to pain killers. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "The Bachelorette Season 16, Episode 8, Recap: The Men Tell All," 2 Dec. 2020 Now, researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, have created an artificial skin that mimics this mechanism and reacts to pain stimuli. Jacopo Prisco, CNN, "New artificial skin can feel real pain," 2 Dec. 2020 The judge also found that his lawyers should have introduced certain evidence during the sentencing phase, including information about how Revis first became addicted to pain pills after a high school football injury. al, "Alabama inmate being removed from death row," 24 Sep. 2020

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

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pain. Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for pain

pain

noun

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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Comments on pain

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