causing hurt or injury; injurious; harmful.

Origin of hurtful

First recorded in 1520–30; hurt + -ful
Related formshurt·ful·ly, adverbhurt·ful·ness, nounun·hurt·ful, adjectiveun·hurt·ful·ly, adverb

Synonyms for hurtful Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hurtful

Contemporary Examples of hurtful

Historical Examples of hurtful

  • It can be hurtful to none, said Luther, to acknowledge and confess their sins.

  • Even their prayers are hurtful to him, until he have made his own.

    Essays, First Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • But the lover is not only hurtful to his love; he is also an extremely disagreeable companion.

  • Or may we suppose that hunger will remain while men and animals remain, but not so as to be hurtful?



  • Are they not profitable when they are rightly used, and hurtful when they are not rightly used?



British Dictionary definitions for hurtful



causing distress or injuryto say hurtful things
Derived Formshurtfully, adverbhurtfulness, 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

Word Origin and History for hurtful

"harmful," mid-15c., from hurt (n.) + -ful. Related: Hurtfully; hurtfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper