• WordNet 3.6
    • adj painful causing physical discomfort; they can be very painful" "bites of black flies are more than irritating"
    • adj painful exceptionally bad or displeasing "atrocious taste","abominable workmanship","an awful voice","dreadful manners","a painful performance","terrible handwriting","an unspeakable odor came sweeping into the room"
    • adj painful causing physical or psychological pain "worked with painful slowness"
    • adj painful causing misery or pain or distress "it was a sore trial to him","the painful process of growing up"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

"School Gives Me Pain All Over the Body" "School Gives Me Pain All Over the Body"

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Smokers are twice as likely to develop lower back pain than non-smokers
    • Painful Full of pain; causing uneasiness or distress, either physical or mental; afflictive; disquieting; distressing.
    • Painful Painstaking; careful; industrious. "A very painful person, and a great clerk.""Nor must the painful husbandman be tired."
    • Painful Requiring labor or toil; difficult; executed with laborious effort; as a painful service; a painful march.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: A headache and inflammatory pain can be reduced by eating 20 tart cherries
    • painful That gives or is characterized by pain; of a nature to pain, render uneasy, or inflict suffering, whether bodily or mental; distressing: as, a painful operation in surgery; a painful effort; a painful subject.
    • painful That requires or necessitates labor, exertion, care, or attention; troublesome; difficult; toilsome.
    • painful Painstaking; industrious; busy; careful; laborious; hard-working.
    • painful Synonyms and Racking, agonizing, tormenting, torturing, excruciating, arduous, severe, grievous, trying, afflictive.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Eating about twenty tart cherries a day could reduce inflammatory pain and headache pain
    • Painful full of pain: causing pain: requiring labour, pain, or care:
    • Painful (arch.) hard-working, painstaking: distressing: difficult
    • ***


  • Adelbert Von Chamisso
    Adelbert Von Chamisso
    “In pain is a new time born.”
  • Proverb
    “He who begins and does not finish loves their pains.”
  • Theodore Parker
    “Remorse is the pain of sin.”
  • Homer
    “For too much rest becomes a pain.”
  • Hector Hugh Munro
    “No one has ever said it, but how painfully true it is that the poor have us always with them.”
  • Samuel Johnson
    “Suspicion is most often useless pain.”


Growing pains - If a business is going through some growing pains, it is experiencing the typical problems that arise when a company becomes stronger and bigger.
No pain, no gain - Achievements require some sort of sacrifice.
Pain in the neck - If someone is very annoying and always disturbing you, they are a pain in the neck. Pain in the butt, or pain in the ass (USA), and Pain in the arse (UK) are less polite alternative forms.


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. peine—L. pœna, satisfaction—Gr. poinē, penalty.


In literature:

Her eyes searched Anne's eyes with pain in them that was somehow akin to Walter's pain.
"The Helpmate" by May Sinclair
If the part becomes blue, cold, or painful, or if any existing pain is increased, the band has been applied too tightly.
"Manual of Surgery" by Alexis Thomson and Alexander Miles
There was not a soul in sight except the agent who knew young Paine.
"The Trumpeter Swan" by Temple Bailey
Her nerves were on the stretch, her ears painfully watchful for the smallest sound.
"A Crooked Path" by Mrs. Alexander
The tonsils are intensely red, swollen, and painful, the pain often extending to the ear.
"The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English" by R. V. Pierce
In his deep-set, piercing eyes lurked all the pains of a lifetime.
"From the Housetops" by George Barr McCutcheon
She seemed dazed with pain.
"The Swindler and Other Stories" by Ethel M. Dell
I was badly requited for my pains.
"Modern Skepticism: A Journey Through the Land of Doubt and Back Again" by Joseph Barker
She fled blindfold from it, not knowing whither, only away from that pain, over any precipice, into any slough.
"Prisoners" by Mary Cholmondeley
A white-hot flash of pain scored his upper arm.
"The Time Traders" by Andre Norton

In poetry:

About the dawn,
What can I say?
But parting
At night is far more
"About the dawn" by Ki no Tsurayuki
And let Thy rain
Fall--or as joy or pain
So that I be
Yet unforgot of Thee.
"The Tree" by John Freeman
Like barley bending
And rising again,
So would I, unbroken,
Rise from pain;
"Like Barley Bending" by Sara Teasdale
The flowers upspringing,
Bring me pain,
My thoughts are winging
To thee again.
"Lilly Lane" by James Avis Bartley
Twice can this be?
What! shall I hear it,
And not have spirit
To ease her pains?
"Rinaldo" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The burden of love,
The burden of pain,
I'll see you bear both
Among men once again.
"Mary's Burden" by Eleanor Farjeon

In news:

Celiacs manage this lifelong digestive disorder—and prevent uncomfortable, painful, and sometimes debilitating symptoms—by maintaining a gluten-free diet.
Many people with asthma who take pains to avoid substances or situations that may set off attacks may overlook a potential danger in their medicine cabinets, aspirin.
A study titled "We Don't Carry That" suggests that people who need medication for severe pain may have trouble getting it if they live in neighborhoods that are mostly black, Hispanic or Asian.
PAIN, unfortunately, is a horrible necessity of life.
But some long-term pain has nothing to do with any obvious injury.
Winn competes despite a painful liver disorder.
Advanced Allergy Relief claims to have a no shots, no drugs, and no pain answer to allergies .
More Power, Less Pain, and One Great Design.
On a side note, and a profound one, her parents and others are only now coming to understand the pain Alyssia was living with before her leg was amputated — because the pain she feels now is less.
A problem that some amputees face is phantom limb pain, which occurs in about 10 percent of patients.
Dr Chernyak, an anesthesiologist and pain management physician with Mercy Suburban Hospital in East Norriton, Pa.
Ed Mulholland for ESPN.comCam-pain trail: Chael Sonnen is already doing his part to carry a promotion with Anderson Silva.
He focuses on clinical evaluation for such patients, offering guidelines for identifying the seriousness of hip pain, and describes the causes, diagnoses, and treatments for hip pain.
(CBS/AP) Toothaches can be incredibly painful, but painful enough to send you to the emergency room.
Speaking of pain, it's hard to say which of these headlines is more painful: " Limp Bizkit to reunite for new album and world tour" or "(Joaquin) Phoenix says 'no turning back' on quitting acting.

In science:

Throughout we use units in which c = 1 but take pains to retain ¯h explicitly.
On a Generalization in Quantum Theory: Is $\hbar$ Constant?
The results from ref. have been obtained using the non-perturbatively improved Wilson-like action, with a new method based on the Ward Identities , which save us from the painful subtractions of the wrong chirality operators, which was necessary in the past.
Kaon Physics from Lattice QCD
However, both in the paper and book we took pains to indicate that this was only a hypothesis and remains to be tested.
Comment on Book Review of `Quantum Evolution' (Johnjoe McFadden) by Mathew J. Donald
Commissioning has been a painful process, thanks to synchrotron radiation problems (better shielding is needed) and beam-gas interactions (requiring improved vacuum).
Summary and Highlights of the 14th Topical Conference on Hadron Collider Physics (HCP2002)
The implementation of this idea has the potential for curing — or at least ameliorating — several painful aspects of our field.
Quaero: Motivation, Summary, Status