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ache

[eyk]
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verb (used without object), ached, ach·ing.
  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
  1. a continuous, dull pain (in contrast to a sharp, sudden, or sporadic pain).

Origin of ache

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

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1. hurt.

Synonym study

4. See pain.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ached

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • If Hetty could have been transported to the spot, how would her heart have ached!

  • And how often have I longed and ached to hear from my dear old dad again!

  • Her heart ached at the word, ached with the longing for rest and peace.

    Nell, of Shorne Mills

    Charles Garvice

  • But though he ached with fatigue from neck to heel, there was no sleep for him.

    Despair's Last Journey

    David Christie Murray

  • At last I was able to open my eyes, which ached as if needles had been stuck into them.

    In the Forbidden Land

    Arnold Henry Savage Landor


British Dictionary definitions for ached

ache

verb (intr)
  1. to feel, suffer, or be the source of a continuous dull pain
  2. to suffer mental anguish
noun
  1. a continuous dull pain
Derived Formsaching, adjectiveachingly, 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

Word Origin and History for ached

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.

ache

n.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ached in Medicine

ache

(āk)
n.
  1. A dull persistent pain.
v.
  1. 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.