Definition of “painful” - English Dictionary


“painful” in English

See all translations


uk /ˈpeɪn.fəl/ us /ˈpeɪn.fəl/

B1 causing emotional or physical pain:

The old photograph brought back painful memories.
A painful injury forced her to withdraw from the game.

If something is painful to watch or listen to, it is so bad that it makes you feel embarrassed:

It was painful to listen to his pathetic excuses.

More examples

(Definition of “painful” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)