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 Sood advises parents and pediatricians to look out for a fever as well as a combination of any of these symptoms: abdominal pain, confusion, diarrhea, red eyes, rash, swollen hands and feet, difficulty breathing and passing out. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "As US hits 100K coronavirus deaths, has the US learned anything? 10 important lessons from this devastating pandemic," 27 May 2020 Parents should contact a health care provider if their children develop the following signs, the CDC says: fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, red eyes, and fatigue. Shari Rudavsky, The Indianapolis Star, "3 more Indiana children hospitalized for coronavirus-linked illness," 22 May 2020 Inflammation causes fever, abdominal pain and rash, as well as an array of other symptoms. CBS News, "Cuomo: Number of countries reporting COVID-linked child illness nearly doubled in a week," 21 May 2020 Most kids also develop serious abdominal pain that get progressively worse over time. Melinda Wenner Moyer, New York Times, "What We Know About the Covid-Related Syndrome Affecting Children," 19 May 2020 Parents should watch for fever, swelling in the hands or feet, rashes or abdominal pain. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Beshear: Two more children have inflammatory illness tied to coronavirus," 18 May 2020 Kids are also experiencing abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. Molly Longman, refinery29.com, "What Pediatricians Want Parents To Know About A COVID-19-Related Illness Affecting Kids," 15 May 2020 Other patients have had more severe symptoms, such as low blood pressure and abdominal pain, sometimes requiring intensive care. Gregory Barber, Wired, "What’s the Strange Ailment Affecting Kids With Covid-19?," 15 May 2020 The syndrome affects blood vessels and organs and has symptoms including prolonged fever, abdominal pain, and vomiting. BostonGlobe.com, "Jared Kushner clarifies after saying he’s ‘not sure’ he can commit to date for presidential election," 13 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Malaparte is particularly pained by other people’s poor taste in clothes, and even has an anecdote about being dragged before Mussolini himself and upbraided for gossiping about Il Duce’s neckties. Lidija Haas, Harper's Magazine, "New Books," 27 Apr. 2020 That lost opportunity to say goodbye to teammates is what pains many. Los Angeles Times, "With .588 batting average, Sebastien Sarabia comes to terms with end of season," 3 Apr. 2020 Having kids of my own, there’s nothing that would pain me more than to see kids having to go without food. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "J.B. Bickerstaff hoping to finish regular season, staying in contact with Cavaliers during coronavirus shutdown," 28 Mar. 2020 As someone who appreciates when things can be tied in a neat and tidy bow, this pains me a bit. Rosemary Donahue, Allure, "Everything I Learned About Love When Astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo Read My Birth Chart," 14 Feb. 2020 Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers As much as this pains me to admit, being a fan of the Auburn Tigers, Newton (owned in 65% of leagues) should no longer be rostered in fantasy football. Frankie Taddeo, SI.com, "Fantasy Football 2019: Players You Can Drop Before Week 5," 1 Oct. 2019 The young quarterback who Sunday outdueled Philip Rivers called to mind a younger version of a player who pained many San Diegans some 25 years ago. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Deshaun Watson recalls former Super Bowl MVP against San Diego Chargers," 23 Sep. 2019 Inspiring change What pains Macingwane most of all is that rugby in South Africa is anything but a white man's game. Daniel Gallan, CNN, "Meet the Gwijo Squad, the musical fan group confronting apartheid's legacy," 20 Sep. 2019 Duckett noticed the stomach pains a few hours later. Hannah Natanson, Washington Post, "On Christmas Eve, D.C. firefighters meet the baby they saved," 24 Dec. 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

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pain. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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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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