- physical suffering or distress, as due to injury, illness, etc.
- a distressing sensation in a particular part of the body: a back pain.
- mental or emotional suffering or torment: I am sorry my news causes you such pain.
- laborious or careful efforts; assiduous care: Great pains have been taken to repair the engine perfectly.
- the suffering of childbirth.
- Informal. an annoying or troublesome person or thing.
- to cause physical pain to; hurt.
- to cause (someone) mental or emotional pain; distress: Your sarcasm pained me.
- to have or give pain.
Origin of pain
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordscramp, fever, burn, sickness, soreness, agony, irritation, wound, strain, discomfort, illness, torment, misery, twinge, ache, trouble, injury, tenderness, spasm, heartache
Examples from the Web for pain
He closed his eyes, imagining the virgins, imagining away the pain in his head and groin.Powerful Congressman Writes About ‘Fleshy Breasts’
January 7, 2015
Throughout all the stories of loss and pain with the Chief, there was barely a trace of emotion.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile
January 3, 2015
Just two young kids experiencing the panic, pain, and then the miracle, of new birth.Jesus Wasn’t Born Rich. Think About It.
December 25, 2014
Nowhere to be found is the anguish, the drama, the pain of an athlete on that level who considering walking away.The Story of the World’s Greatest Cricket Player
December 24, 2014
The holidays are upon us, time for family, for love and pain, togetherness and loss.The Stacks: Sell the Overcoat, Keep the Dignity
December 22, 2014
My very blood boiled in my veins, that such an one as he could give me pain.
"In truth, my father, I wished to avoid the pain of parting," rejoined Philæmon.
No; those we love, we love for every thing; even for the pain they have given us.
But she gave me none: it was where she was not, that pain was.
Many in our country do not know the pain of poverty, but we can listen to those who do.
- the sensation of acute physical hurt or discomfort caused by injury, illness, etc
- emotional suffering or mental distress
- on pain of subject to the penalty of
- Also called: pain in the neck, (taboo) pain in the arse informal a person or thing that is a nuisance
- to cause (a person) distress, hurt, grief, anxiety, etc
- informal to annoy; irritate
Word Origin and History for pain
late 13c., "punishment," especially for a crime; also "condition one feels when hurt, opposite of pleasure," from Old French peine "difficulty, woe, suffering, punishment, Hell's torments" (11c.), from Latin poena "punishment, penalty, retribution, indemnification" (in Late Latin also "torment, hardship, suffering"), from Greek poine "retribution, penalty, quit-money for spilled blood," from PIE *kwei- "to pay, atone, compensate" (see penal). The earliest sense in English survives in phrase on pain of death.
Phrase to give (someone) a pain "be annoying and irritating" is from 1908; localized as pain in the neck (1924) and pain in the ass (1934), though this last might have gone long unrecorded and be the original sense and the others euphemisms. Pains "great care taken (for some purpose)" is first recorded 1520s (in the singular in this sense, it is attested from c.1300). First record of pain-killer is from 1853.
c.1300, "to exert or strain oneself, strive; endeavor," from Old French pener (v.) "to hurt, cause pain," from peine, and from Middle English peine (n.); see pain (n.). Transitive meaning "cause pain; inflict pain" is from late 14c. That of "to cause sorrow, grief, or unhappiness" also is from late 14c. Related: Pained; paining.
- An unpleasant sensation occurring in varying degrees of severity as a consequence of injury, disease, or emotional disorder.
- One of the uterine contractions occurring in childbirth.
Idioms and Phrases with pain
In addition to the idioms beginning with pain
- pain in the neck
- at pains
- feel no pain
- for one's pains
- growing pains
- no pain, no gain
- on pain of