painful - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    making you feel upset, ashamed, or unhappy
    painful memory/reminder:

    He sobbed as he relived the painful memory.

    painful experience:

    His autobiography recounts the unique and painful experience of imprisonment.

    unbearably/unbelievably painful:

    The loss of her husband to cancer was unbearably painful.

  2. 2
    if part of your body is painful, you feel pain there

    My feet were sometimes so painful and swollen that I could not wear shoes.

    She suffers from stiff and painful joints.

    1. a.
      making you feel physical pain
      extremely/terribly/excruciatingly painful:

      The sting can be excruciatingly painful.

  3. 3
    informal done so badly that you feel embarrassed

    His performance was painful to watch.