1200–1250; Middle English; see ache, -ing2

achingly, adverb
unaching, adjective
unachingly, adverb Unabridged


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. 2014.
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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
We parked on the outskirts in the shade of a gum tree and stretched our aching
Don't let aching feet prevent you from seeing every sight on your travels.
Then you have this feeling of miserable, aching cold, deep inside you.
My nose is less congested and the aching in my throat has subsided.
Related Words
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