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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 of painful
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for painfully
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was here, too, that I was painfully wounded by an exploding shell from the enemy on the tip of the right hip bone.

  • For he had been painfully conscious now and then that he played but second fiddle.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • The other answers would work themselves out through the veiled years, slowly, painfully perhaps.

    The Furnace Rose Macaulay
  • They spoke of him as "he," and as leading a painfully worthless and disreputable life.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • Then his causeless doubt and disquietude again came on him so painfully that he could no longer remain at the window.

British Dictionary definitions for painfully

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 painfully

painful

adj.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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