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 Reflecting on his career as a circuit-riding Methodist minister, Reynolds remembers a lot of joy and a lot of pain in moving around so much. al, 17 June 2021 The motorcycle’s driver complained of pain to his right hand and right leg. City News Service, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 June 2021 Deaths of despair and chronic pain among middle-aged adults have been increasing for the past decade. Frank J. Infurna, The Conversation, 11 June 2021 Symptoms can include fever and fatigue, as well as shortness of breath and a very specific type of chest pain. NBC News, 11 June 2021 The victim complained of back pain but refused medical treatment from the Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Rescue personnel. Chris Perkins, sun-sentinel.com, 11 June 2021 All of that pain, death and loss forced me to reckon with how uncertain the future is and how fleeting joyous moments can be. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, 11 June 2021 Plus, the program gives you more one-on-one sessions with the knowledgeable guides, thermal body mapping (which reveals your body’s asymmetries, muscle tightness and points of pain so that a therapist can tailor a massage to those areas) and more. Jennifer Kester, Forbes, 10 June 2021 But the story of this class and the Parkland community isn't just a story of pain. Kevin Liptak, CNN, 9 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But that high spirit didn’t last long, and joy reverted to pain and sorrow. Joseph Samuels, WSJ, 28 May 2021 Unlike Joan in Animal, the real women in Three Women have not responded to pain with rage or vengeance. Eliana Dockterman, Time, 27 May 2021 About 91% of the vaccine recipients had local reactions from the shot within seven days, typically pain at the injection site, according to the CDC. Stephanie Innes, The Arizona Republic, 12 May 2021 The weekend shutdown of the country’s largest fuel pipeline after a ransomware attack could translate to pain at the pump if it isn’t quickly returned to service, experts say. Washington Post, 10 May 2021 The Method Singh’s center houses specialists in everything from functional medicine to pain management, preventive care, nutrition, and aesthetic services. Jamie Rosen, Town & Country, 26 Apr. 2021 Shingles is an exquisitely painful herpesvirus illness (herpes zoster virus, to be specific) that leads to pain along a nerve in a dermatome, followed by painful sores and blisters. Nina Shapiro, Forbes, 20 Apr. 2021 But their show will remind you that tenderness itself has a double valence: love, yes, but also pain. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, 14 Apr. 2021 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, 22 Mar. 2021

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

19 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pain. Accessed 25 Jun. 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

pain

transitive verb

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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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