painful

[ peyn-fuhl ]
/ ˈpeɪn fəl /

adjective

affected with, causing, or characterized by pain: a painful wound; a painful night; a painful memory.
laborious; exacting; difficult: a painful life.
Archaic. painstaking; careful.

Origin of painful

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; see origin at pain, -ful
SYNONYMS FOR painful
1 distressing, torturing, agonizing, tormenting, excruciating.
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for painful

British Dictionary definitions for painful

painful

/ (ˈpeɪnfʊl) /

adjective

causing pain; distressinga painful duty
affected with paina painful leg
tedious or difficult
informal extremely bada painful performance
Derived Formspainfully, adverbpainfulness, 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 painful

painful


adj.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper