painful

painful

synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of painful in English

English Online Dictionary. What means painful‎? What does painful mean?

English

Alternative forms

  • painfull (archaic)

Etymology

From Middle English paynful, peinful, peynful, paynefull, peynefull, equivalent to pain +‎ -ful. Compare Dutch pijnvol (painful), Danish pinefuld (painful).

Pronunciation

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpeɪn.fəl/

Adjective

painful (comparative painfuller or more painful, superlative painfullest or most painful)

  1. Causing pain or distress, either physical or mental. [from 14th c.]
  2. Afflicted or suffering with pain (of a body part or, formerly, of a person). [from 15th c.]
  3. Requiring effort or labor; difficult, laborious. [from 15th c.]
  4. (now rare) Painstaking; careful; industrious. [from 16th c.]
    • 1624, John Smith, Generall Historie, in Kupperman 1988, p. 142:
      The men bestow their times in fishing, hunting, warres, and such manlike exercises, scorning to be seene in any woman-like exercise, which is the cause that the women be very painefull, and the men often idle.
    • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, Book 2, Ch. 2
      For twenty generations, here was the earthly arena where painful living men worked out their life-wrestle
  5. (informal) Very bad, poor.
    His violin playing is painful.

Synonyms

  • (full of pain): doleful, sorrowful, smartful, irksome, annoying
  • (requiring labor or toil): laborious, exerting

Antonyms

  • (causing pain): painless, painfree

Derived terms

  • painfully
  • painfulness

Translations

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This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.