painful

EnglishEdit

 
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Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English paynful, peinful, peynful, paynefull, peynefull, equivalent to pain +‎ -ful. Compare Danish pinefuld (painful).

PronunciationEdit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpeɪn.fəl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪnfəl

AdjectiveEdit

painful (comparative painfuller or more painful, superlative painfullest or most painful)

  1. Causing pain or distress, either physical or mental. [from 14th c.]
  2. Afflicted or suffering with pain (of a body part or, formerly, of a person). [from 15th c.]
  3. Requiring effort or labor; difficult, laborious. [from 15th c.]
  4. (now rare) Painstaking; careful; industrious. [from 16th c.]
    • 1624, John Smith, Generall Historie, in Kupperman 1988, p. 142:
      The men bestow their times in fishing, hunting, warres, and such manlike exercises, scorning to be seene in any woman-like exercise, which is the cause that the women be very painefull, and the men often idle.
    • 1843 April, Thomas Carlyle, chapter 2, in Past and Present, American edition, Boston, Mass.: Charles C[offin] Little and James Brown, published 1843, OCLC 191225086, book II (The Ancient Monk):
      For twenty generations, here was the earthly arena where painful living men worked out their life-wrestle
  5. (informal) Very bad, poor.
    His violin playing is painful.

SynonymsEdit

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TranslationsEdit

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