PAINFUL: Synonyms and Related Words. What is Another Word for PAINFUL?

Need another word that means the same as “painful”? Find 32 synonyms and 30 related words for “painful” in this overview.

The synonyms of “Painful” are: irritating, afflictive, sore, abominable, atrocious, awful, dreadful, terrible, unspeakable, hurting, hurt, tender, aching, throbbing, smarting, burning, agonizing, excruciating, distressing, unpleasant, nasty, bitter, disquieting, disturbing, upsetting, traumatic, miserable, wretched, sad, heartbreaking, harrowing, mortifying

Painful as an Adjective

Definitions of "Painful" as an adjective

According to the Oxford Dictionary of English, “painful” as an adjective can have the following definitions:

  • (of a part of the body) affected with pain.
  • Causing distress or trouble.
  • Exceptionally bad or displeasing.
  • Causing physical pain.
  • Very bad.
  • Causing misery or pain or distress.
  • Causing physical or psychological pain.
  • Causing physical discomfort.

Synonyms of "Painful" as an adjective (32 Words)

abominableUnequivocally detestable.
The uprising was suppressed with abominable cruelty.
achingCausing a dull and steady pain.
The cool air was a relief to my aching head.
afflictiveCausing pain or suffering.
I was under assault by afflictive emotions anger fear panic.
agonizingExtremely painful.
There is an agonizing choice to make.
atrociousExceptionally bad or displeasing.
Atrocious weather.
awful(of a person) very unwell or troubled.
I ve made an awful fool of myself.
bitter(of wind or weather) intensely cold.
Today s decision has come as a bitter blow.
burningVery keenly or deeply felt; intense.
The burning question of independence.
disquietingInducing feelings of anxiety or worry.
The disquieting sounds of nearby gunfire.
distressingBad; unfortunate.
Distressing or disturbing news.
disturbingCausing distress or worry or anxiety.
Distressing or disturbing news.
dreadfulCausing or involving great suffering, fear, or unhappiness; extremely bad or serious.
She looked quite dreadful and she was struggling for breath.
excruciatingExtremely painful.
Excruciating back pain.
harrowingAcutely distressing.
It was a harrowing experience.
heartbreakingCausing or marked by grief or anguish.
Her sigh was heartbreaking.
hurtSuffering from physical injury especially that suffered in battle.
Ambulances for the hurt men and women.
hurtingSuffering from physical injury especially that suffered in battle.
irritatingServing to stimulate or excite.
The substance may be irritating to eyes and skin.
miserableOf the most contemptible kind.
You miserable skunk.
mortifyingCausing to feel shame or chagrin or vexation.
How mortifying to find that he was right.
nastyDamaging or harmful.
Life has a nasty habit of repeating itself.
sadOf things that make you feel sad.
I was sad and subdued.
smartingCapable of independent and apparently intelligent action.
Susan rubbed her smarting eyes.
soreRoused to anger- Mark Twain.
She had a sore throat.
tenderGiven to sympathy or gentleness or sentimentality.
The pale tender skin of her forearm.
terribleCausing or likely to cause terror; sinister.
A terrible crime.
throbbingCausing pain in a series of regular beats.
A throbbing vein.
traumaticPsychologically painful.
She was going through a traumatic divorce.
unpleasant(of a person or their manner) unfriendly and inconsiderate; rude.
An unpleasant personality.
unspeakableNot able to be expressed in words.
I felt an unspeakable tenderness towards her.
upsettingCausing an emotional disturbance- Herb Caen.
An upsetting experience.
wretchedDeserving or inciting pity- Galsworthy.
She disliked the wretched man intensely.

Usage Examples of "Painful" as an adjective

  • The painful process of growing up.
  • A painful performance.
  • Their attempts at reggae are painful.
  • A painful knock.
  • Bites of black flies are more than irritating; they can be very painful.
  • A painful experience.
  • Her ankle was very painful.
  • Worked with painful slowness.

Associations of "Painful" (30 Words)

achingHaving an ache in a part of one’s body.
My aching head.
agonizingCausing great physical or mental pain.
An agonizing death.
bitingCapable of wounding.
His biting satire on corruption and power.
bitterAlcohol flavoured with bitter plant extracts used as an additive in cocktails or as a medicinal substance to promote appetite or digestion.
The bitter truth.
bitterlyTo an extreme, forceful, or particularly harsh degree.
Its humour is cutting and bitterly sarcastic.
callusForm a callus or calluses.
The long march had callused his feet.
distressingCausing distress or worry or anxiety.
Some very distressing news.
dolefulExpressing sorrow; mournful.
A doleful look.
dolorousFeeling or expressing great sorrow or distress.
A dolorous and repetitive tale of atrocity.
elegy(in modern literature) a poem of serious reflection, typically a lament for the dead.
excruciatingIntensely painful.
He explained the procedure in excruciating detail.
frustratingDiscouraging by hindering.
It can be very frustrating to find that the size you want isn t there.
grievousOf great gravity or crucial import; requiring serious thought.
His death was a grievous blow.
harrowingExtremely painful.
It was a harrowing experience.
irksomeIrritating; annoying.
An irksome journey.
lamentableFull of or expressing sorrow or grief.
The lamentable friends trailing their long black garments.
lamentationA book of the Bible telling of the desolation of Judah after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC.
Scenes of lamentation.
mournfulFeeling, expressing, or inducing sadness, regret, or grief.
Stared with mournful eyes.
poignantKeenly distressing to the mind or feelings.
Poignant anxiety.
sadOf things that make you feel sad Christina Rossetti.
The show is tongue in cheek anyone who takes it seriously is a bit sad.
soreAn open skin infection.
They were sore afraid.
sorrowfulFeeling or showing grief.
A sorrowful tale of death and despair.
stressfulExtremely irritating to the nerves.
The stressful days before a war.
swollenCharacteristic of false pride; having an exaggerated sense of self-importance.
Growing ever more swollen headed and arbitrary.
tediousSo lacking in interest as to cause mental weariness.
Tedious days on the train.
torturousCharacterized by, involving, or causing pain or suffering.
A torturous five days of fitness training.
traumaticRelating to or denoting physical injury.
Few experiences are more traumatic than losing a child.
tryingDifficult or annoying; hard to endure.
It had been a very trying day.
The unhappy or sad news.
worrisomeNot reassuring; tending to cause anxiety.
In a particularly worrisome predicament.

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