Essential Meaning of pain
1 : the physical feeling caused by disease, injury, or something that hurts the body 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. See More ExamplesIt was obvious that she was in pain. [=feeling pain] Each patient has a different pain threshold. [=ability to tolerate pain] The medicine provides 12 hours of pain relief. For a week after surgery she took prescription pain medication/relievers. [=painkillers] I feel a dull/sharp pain if I touch the bruise.
2 : mental or emotional suffering : sadness caused by some emotional or mental problem They didn't want to cause him pain. [=they didn't want to upset or hurt him] the pain of a difficult childhood It is a story about the joys and pains of life.
3 informal : someone or something that causes trouble or makes you feel annoyed or angry Rush hour traffic is such a pain. This orange is a pain to peel. Our neighbor can be such a pain. [=nuisance]
Full 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
pained; paining; pains
Definition of pain (Entry 2 of 2)
1 : to make suffer or cause distress to : hurt
2 archaic : to put (oneself) to trouble or exertion
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