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7 Essential Words of Fall

painful

[peyn-fuh l] /ˈpeɪn fəl/
adjective
1.
affected with, causing, or characterized by pain:
a painful wound; a painful night; a painful memory.
2.
laborious; exacting; difficult:
a painful life.
3.
Archaic. painstaking; careful.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English; see pain, -ful
Related forms
painfully, adverb
painfulness, noun
overpainful, adjective
overpainfully, adverb
overpainfulness, noun
unpainful, adjective
unpainfully, adverb
Synonyms
1. distressing, torturing, agonizing, tormenting, excruciating. 2. arduous.
Antonyms
2. easy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for painful
  • Maybe readers tune biblical scholarship out because it is incomprehensibly specialized and physically painful to read.
  • The sheer length of the hearings would be physically painful.
  • Done with razor blades, the painful process starts at puberty and continues into adulthood.
  • Get a close-up view of the bizarre, sometimes painful, courtship rituals of dragonflies in this feature.
  • The octopuses are immune to the tentacle's painful sting.
  • It might be alluring, but a rare flower hat jelly's lilac-tipped fringe can deliver a painful sting.
  • After a period of chanting, the artist started an extremely painful tattooing process that often lasted six or eight hours.
  • Ants fight back with painful stings, so an anteater may spend only a minute feasting on each mound.
  • Our human longing to mimic birds has often proved painful.
  • Others struggle with a healing process that remains painful, drawn out, and elusive.
British Dictionary definitions for painful

painful

/ˈpeɪnfʊl/
adjective
1.
causing pain; distressing: a painful duty
2.
affected with pain: a painful leg
3.
tedious or difficult
4.
(informal) extremely bad: a painful performance
Derived Forms
painfully, adverb
painfulness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for painful
adj.

mid-14c., from pain (n.) + -ful. Related: Painfully; painfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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12
16
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