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 But having symptoms — a fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell, vomiting or diarrhea and sore throat — isn’t enough to get a prisoner transferred to a unit with A/C. Lauren Mcgaughy, Dallas News, "The heat is on: Texas inmates say they are battling COVID-19 in prisons with no A/C," 31 July 2020 The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of freedom. Steve Helling, PEOPLE.com, "Family of Special-Ed Student Who Was Given Drugs, Sexually Assaulted by Teacher Sues School District," 30 July 2020 That tier kicks in when patients present with two of the following clinical signs: Chills or shivers, fever, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or new loss of taste and smell. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Covid-19 symptoms: What we know now and what to do," 10 July 2020 In the midst of global outrage sparked by the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others, many of us are feeling pain, despair, and hopelessness right now, and are looking for ways to make a difference. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "26 Black-Owned Beauty Brands You Need On Your Radar," 8 July 2020 Research shows that chronic conditions, including low back pain, mental health, and migraines can reduce the productivity of workers by up to 5%. Shubham Singhal, Fortune, "Good health is good business. Here’s why.," 8 July 2020 Vaginal bleaching can lead to pain, burning, irritation, redness, rash, and even long-term nerve damage, Dr. Streicher says. Korin Miller, Health.com, "What Is Vaginal Bleaching? Doctors Warn Against Potentially Dangerous Treatment," 7 July 2020 Howe says pets with anaplasmosis may experience lack of appetite, joint pain, fever, lethargy or lameness. Chanel Stitt, Detroit Free Press, "Tick disease with coronavirus-like symptoms is on a rise in Michigan," 6 July 2020 Howe says pets with anaplasmosis may experience lack of appetite, joint pain, fever, lethargy or lameness. Chanel Stitt, USA TODAY, "Tick disease with coronavirus-like symptoms is on the rise in Michigan," 6 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But even pain that profound doesn’t justify undermining your son’s rightful authority to decide who has access to his family. Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax: He’s estranged from his son but wants to meet his granddaughter," 30 July 2020 In a 2016 study, researchers found many doctors and med students believe there are biological differences between Black and White people, and that Black people are not as sensitive to pain as their White counterparts. Li Cohen, CBS News, ""Our system is not built to serve everyone equally": Doctors push for an end to racial discrimination in health care," 6 July 2020 But times are so very different, and in many ways that pain deeper, in the wake of the death of George Floyd nearly two weeks ago at the hands of Minneapolis police. Nathan Brown, Indianapolis Star, "With IndyCar in primetime, NBC carrying heavy burden: 'We need an Indy 500 level of excitement'," 5 June 2020 Channel the anger, frustration and pain the right way. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "As protests continue, UT athletes and coaches speak out," 2 June 2020 And though she was pained by the message on her building, Oates-Allen said has decided to own the statement. Alexandria Burris, The Indianapolis Star, "For downtown's black business owners, desire for justice can outweigh business losses," 10 June 2020 According to the indictments, other drugs used to deaden a horse's sensitivity to pain to improve the horse's performance could also lead to leg fractures. Stephen Whyno, Anchorage Daily News, "Trainers, veterinarians and others charged in racehorse-drugging scheme," 9 Mar. 2020 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

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

5 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pain. Accessed 8 Aug. 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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