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2017 Word of the Year

ache

[eyk] /eɪk/
verb (used without object), ached, aching.
1.
to have or suffer a continuous, dull pain:
His whole body ached.
2.
to feel great sympathy, pity, or the like:
Her heart ached for the starving animals.
3.
to feel eager; yearn; long:
She ached to be the champion. He's just aching to get even.
noun
4.
a continuous, dull pain (in contrast to a sharp, sudden, or sporadic pain).
Origin of ache
900
before 900; (v.) Middle English aken, Old English acan; perhaps metaphoric use of earlier unattested sense “drive, impel” (compare Old Norse aka, cognate with Latin agere, Greek ágein); (noun) derivative of the v.
Synonyms
1. hurt.
Synonym Study
4. See pain.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ache
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She had dreaded her loneliness with the ache that is despair; but she was not lonely any more.

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
  • It made his eyes yearn for the sight of her with an ache that was physical.

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
  • For my own part I was now feeling the ache of numerous and severe bruises.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • Many years ago she died, but the ache comes back now, as I think of her.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug Joseph C. Lincoln
  • "Your father is nothing but an ache and a stound to you, lass," Sim would say in a whimper.

British Dictionary definitions for ache

ache

/eɪk/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to feel, suffer, or be the source of a continuous dull pain
2.
to suffer mental anguish
noun
3.
a continuous dull pain
Derived Forms
aching, adjective
achingly, adverb
Word Origin
Old English ācan (vb), æce (n), Middle English aken (vb), ache (n). Compare bake, batch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ache
v.

Old English acan "to ache, suffer pain," from Proto-Germanic *akanan, perhaps from a PIE root *ag-es- "fault, guilt," represented also in Sanskrit and Greek, perhaps imitative of groaning. The verb was pronounced "ake," the noun "ache" (as in speak/speech) but while the noun changed pronunciation to conform to the verb, the spelling of both was changed to ache c.1700 on a false assumption of a Greek origin (specifically Greek akhos "pain, distress," which is rather a distant relation of awe (n.)). Related: Ached; aching.

n.

early 15c., æche, from Old English æce, from Proto-Germanic *akiz, from same source as ache (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ache in Medicine

ache (āk)
n.
A dull persistent pain. v. ached, ach·ing, aches
To suffer a dull, sustained pain.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Nearby words for ache

Word Value for ache

9
9
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