Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of painful
Meaning of painful by Wiktionary Dictionary


    Alternative forms


    From pain +‎ -ful .


    • ( UK ) IPA: /ˈpeɪn.fəl/, X-SAMPA: /"peIn.f@l/


    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.]



    • ( causing pain ): painless, painfree

    Derived terms

Explanation of painful by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. causing physical discomfort

    2. bites of black flies are more than irritating; they can be very painful
    3. exceptionally bad or displeasing

    4. a painful performance
    5. causing physical or psychological pain

    6. worked with painful slowness
    7. causing misery or pain or distress

    8. the painful process of growing up

    Definition of painful by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Painful a.
      1. Full of pain; causing uneasiness or distress, either physical or mental; afflictive; disquieting; distressing. Addison.

      2. Requiring labor or toil; difficult; executed with laborious effort; “painful service; a painful march”.

      3. Painstaking; careful; industrious. [Obs.] Fuller.

      A very painful person, and a great clerk. Jer. Taylor.

      Nor must the painful husbandman be tired. Dryden.

      Syn. -- Disquieting; troublesome; afflictive; distressing; grievous; laborious; toilsome; difficult; arduous.

      -- Painfully, adv. -- Painfulness, n.