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From Middle High German schmerzen, from Old High German smerzan, from Proto-Germanic *smertaną, from Proto-Indo-European *(s)merd- (to bite, sting). Cognate with Dutch smarten, English smart, Low German smerten, Danish smerte, Swedish smärta.


  • IPA(key): /ˈʃmɛʁtsn/
  • (file)


schmerzen (third-person singular simple present schmerzt, past tense schmerzte, past participle geschmerzt, auxiliary haben)

  1. to cause pain, to be painful, to ache or hurt

Usage notesEdit

Although both schmerzen and verletzen are sometimes glossed as to hurt, schmerzen is more specific to pain, while verletzen carries additional connotations of to injure or to wound.


(But please keep in mind that „ich schmerze“ and „du schmerzt“ do not exist and do not make sense; at most: „Dein Schicksal schmerzt mich“ = “Your fate aches me / causes me pain”.)

Further readingEdit