verb (used without object), ached, aching.
to have or suffer a continuous, dull pain: His whole body ached.
to feel great sympathy, pity, or the like: Her heart ached for the starving animals.
to feel eager; yearn; long: She ached to be the champion. He's just aching to get even.
a continuous, dull pain (in contrast to a sharp, sudden, or sporadic pain).

before 900; (v.) Middle English aken, Old English acan; perhaps metaphoric use of earlier unattested sense “drive, impel” (compare Old Norse aka, cognate with Latin agere, Greek ágein); (noun) derivative of the v.

1. hurt. 4. See pain. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
ache (eɪk)
1.  to feel, suffer, or be the source of a continuous dull pain
2.  to suffer mental anguish
3.  a continuous dull pain
[Old English ācan (vb), æce (n), Middle English aken (vb), ache (n). Compare bake, batch]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. acan "to ache, suffer pain," from P.Gmc. *akanan, perhaps from a PIE base *ag-es- "fault, guilt," represented also in Skt. and Gk., perhaps imitative of groaning. The noun is M.E. æche, from O.E. æce, from P.Gmc. *akiz. The verb was pronounced "ake," the noun "ache" (by
i-mutation, as in speak-speech) but while the noun changed pronunciation to conform to the verb, the spelling of both was changed to ache c.1700 on a false assumption of a Gk. origin (Gk. akhos "pain, distress"). Achy (adj.) first attested 1875 in George Eliot's letters.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

ache (āk)
A dull persistent pain. v. ached, ach·ing, aches
To suffer a dull, sustained pain.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. American College of Healthcare Executives

  2. American Council for Headache Education

The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
He wants to teach them a lesson, and the dull ache in his gums is the proof that they are learning.
Stiff and sore with an ache of remembering that was really a kind of longing, he worked with them until they left the church.
They narrate their day-to-day activities for all to hear--every ache and pain or coming and going.
The gnawing ache sent him to the mirror to look for a possible source.
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