painful


painful
[[t]pe͟ɪnfʊl[/t]]
♦♦♦
1) ADJ-GRADED: oft ADJ to-inf If a part of your body is painful, it hurts because it is injured or because there is something wrong with it.

Her glands were swollen and painful...

Sampras awaits the results of a bone scan on a painful left shin.

Syn:
Derived words:
painfully ADV-GRADED ADV with v

His tooth had started to throb painfully again.

2) ADJ-GRADED If something such as an illness, injury, or operation is painful, it causes you a lot of physical pain.

...a painful back injury...

Sunburn is painful and potentially dangerous.

Derived words:
painfully ADV-GRADED ADV with v

...cracking his head painfully against the cupboard.

3) ADJ-GRADED: oft ADJ to-inf Situations, memories, or experiences that are painful are difficult and unpleasant to deal with, and often make you feel sad and upset.

Remarks like that brought back painful memories.

...the painful transition to democracy...

She finds it too painful to return there without him.

Derived words:
painfully ADV-GRADED ADV with v

...their old relationship, which he had painfully broken off.

4) ADJ-GRADED: oft ADJ to-inf If a performance or interview is painful, it is so bad that it makes you feel embarrassed for the people taking part in it. [INFORMAL]

It was a joint interview with the BBC and ITV and was painful both to watch and to listen to.

Syn:

English dictionary. 2008.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Painful — Pain ful, a. 1. Full of pain; causing uneasiness or distress, either physical or mental; afflictive; disquieting; distressing. Addison. [1913 Webster] 2. Requiring labor or toil; difficult; executed with laborious effort; as a painful service; a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • painful — [pān′fəl] adj. 1. causing pain; hurting; distressing 2. full of or suffering with pain; aching [a painful finger] 3. requiring trouble and care; exacting and difficult 4. annoying or tedious [a long, painful lecture] 5. Archaic painstaking… …   English World dictionary

  • painful — ► ADJECTIVE 1) affected with or causing pain. 2) informal very bad: their attempts at reggae are painful. DERIVATIVES painfully adverb painfulness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • painful — I adjective aching, afflictive, agonizing, anguishing, arduous, beset with difficulties, difficult, difficult to endure, discomforting, distressful, distressing, disturbing, excruciating, grievous, grueling, hard to endure, harmful, harrowing,… …   Law dictionary

  • painful — (adj.) mid 14c., from PAIN (Cf. pain) (n.) + FUL (Cf. ful). Related: Painfully; painfulness …   Etymology dictionary

  • painful — [adj] physically or mentally agonizing aching, afflictive, agonizing, arduous, awful, biting, burning, caustic, difficult, dire, disagreeable, distasteful, distressing, dreadful, excruciating, extreme, extremely bad, grievous, hard, harrowing,… …   New thesaurus

  • painful — pain|ful [ˈpeınfəl] adj 1.) making you feel very upset, or very difficult and unpleasant for you ≠ ↑painless painful memories/experience etc ▪ He sobbed as he recalled the painful memory. ▪ Venice was a painful reminder of her marriage. ▪ He and… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • painful — adjective 1 making you feel very upset, or very difficult and unpleasant for you: be painful for sb (to do sth): It s still painful for her to talk about the divorce. | painful memories/experience: Hearing about the war again brings back painful… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • painful — pain|ful [ peınfl ] adjective ** 1. ) making you feel upset, ashamed, or unhappy: painful memory/reminder: He sobbed as he relived the painful memory. painful experience: His autobiography recounts the unique and painful experience of… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • painful */*/ — UK [ˈpeɪnf(ə)l] / US adjective 1) making you feel upset, ashamed, or unhappy painful memory/reminder: He sobbed as he relived the painful memory. painful experience: His autobiography recounts the unique and painful experience of imprisonment.… …   English dictionary


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