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painful

[peyn-fuh l] /ˈpeɪn fəl/
adjective
1.
affected with, causing, or characterized by pain:
a painful wound; a painful night; a painful memory.
2.
laborious; exacting; difficult:
a painful life.
3.
Archaic. painstaking; careful.
Origin of painful
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English; see pain, -ful
Related forms
painfully, adverb
painfulness, noun
overpainful, adjective
overpainfully, adverb
overpainfulness, noun
unpainful, adjective
unpainfully, adverb
Synonyms
1. distressing, torturing, agonizing, tormenting, excruciating. 2. arduous.
Antonyms
2. easy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for painfully
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was here, too, that I was painfully wounded by an exploding shell from the enemy on the tip of the right hip bone.

  • It was clear that Nancy was painfully trying to do the honours.

    Tutors' Lane Wilmarth Lewis
  • The other answers would work themselves out through the veiled years, slowly, painfully perhaps.

    The Furnace Rose Macaulay
  • Alfred took it painfully to heart, and fell into a violent state of Whitmania.

    Days Off Henry Van Dyke
  • Then his causeless doubt and disquietude again came on him so painfully that he could no longer remain at the window.

British Dictionary definitions for painfully

painful

/ˈpeɪnfʊl/
adjective
1.
causing pain; distressing: a painful duty
2.
affected with pain: a painful leg
3.
tedious or difficult
4.
(informal) extremely bad: a painful performance
Derived Forms
painfully, adverb
painfulness, noun
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 painfully

painful

adj.

mid-14c., from pain (n.) + -ful. Related: Painfully; painfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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