painful

[peyn-fuhl]

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.

Nearby words

  1. paine, albert bigelow,
  2. paine, robert treat,
  3. paine, thomas,
  4. pained,
  5. painesville,
  6. painfully,
  7. painkiller,
  8. painless,
  9. painlessly,
  10. pains

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. 2. arduous.

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for painfully


British Dictionary definitions for painfully

painful

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 painfully

painful

adj.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper