What are some alternative words for painful?

Synonyms for painful
ˈpeɪn fəl

This thesaurus page is about all possible synonyms, equivalent, same meaning and similar words for the term painful.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. painful(adj)

    causing physical or psychological pain

    "worked with painful slowness"

    irritating, terrible, unspeakable, awful, afflictive, atrocious, abominable, sore, dreadful

    unpainful, good, painless, pain-free, comfortable, comfy, pleasant

  2. afflictive, painful, sore(adj)

    causing misery or pain or distress

    "it was a sore trial to him"; "the painful process of growing up"

    mad, irritating, sensitive, huffy, raw, terrible, unspeakable, tender, awful, afflictive, atrocious, abominable, sore, dreadful

    comfortable, comfy, pleasant, good, painless, pain-free, unpainful

  3. atrocious, abominable, awful, dreadful, painful, terrible, unspeakable(adj)

    exceptionally bad or displeasing

    "atrocious taste"; "abominable workmanship"; "an awful voice"; "dreadful manners"; "a painful performance"; "terrible handwriting"; "an unspeakable odor came sweeping into the room"

    irritating, dreadful, indescribable, indefinable, awful, sore, odious, unnameable, execrable, horrifying, frightful, amazing, horrendous, severe, tremendous, dreaded, dire, afflictive, flagitious, grievous, monstrous, atrocious, ineffable, detestable, awing, awed, wicked, dread(a), awe-inspiring, unspeakable, horrific, nasty, terrible, horrible, abominable, frightening, unutterable, awesome, fearsome, fearful, direful, untellable, ugly

    comfortable, painless, comfy, pain-free, good, pleasant, unpainful

  4. irritating, painful(adj)

    causing physical discomfort

    "bites of black flies are more than irritating; they can be very painful"

    nettlesome, annoying, afflictive, teasing, plaguy, vexing, vexatious, galling, irritative, abominable, bothersome, awful, unspeakable, plaguey, atrocious, pestiferous, terrible, pesky, dreadful, pestering, sore, irritating

    pain-free, painless, comfy, unpainful, comfortable, pleasant, good


  1. painful(adjective)

    Causing pain or distress, either physical or mental.

    painfree, painless

  2. painful(adjective)

    doleful, irksome, sorrowful, annoying

  3. painful(adjective)

    laborious, exerting

Complete Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms

  1. painful

    afflicting, distressful, grieving, grievous, excruciating

Dictionary of English Synonymes

  1. painful(a.)

    tormenting, torturing, agonizing, racking, distressing, distressful, excruciating

  2. painful(a.)

    grievous, afflicting, afflictive, disquieting, troublesome, displeasing, provoking, annoying, vexatious, unpleasant, disagreeable

  3. painful(a.)

    toilsome, arduous, difficult, hard, severe

Synonyms, Antonyms & Associated Words

  1. painful(a)

    distressing, agonizing, excruciating, dolorous, racking, toilsome, arduous, difficult

PPDB, the paraphrase database

  1. List of paraphrases for "painful":

    distressing, bitter, agonizing, sore, embarrassing, harrowing, sad, grievous, hurtful, difficult, dire, laborious, painstaking, arduous

How to pronounce painful?

US English

How to say painful in sign language?

  1. painful

Words popularity by usage frequency


How to use painful in a sentence?

  1. Bill de Blasio:

    This has been an extraordinarily painful few weeks.

  2. Cindy Warmbier:

    So when I look at this picture of Otto in handcuffs being forced to do these things, it's too painful... I'm focused on the future and bringing Otto home.

  3. Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog:

    The painful truth is that after all the applause, Netanyahu is alone and Israel is isolated.

  4. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin:

    It is painful enough when we lose members of our armed forces when they are sent in harm's way.

  5. Rodrigo Duterte:

    Regular Jobs Now. Duterte reiterated his plea for Congress to re-impose the death penalty for drug offenders and other criminals, and said he would not stop his deadly crackdown on illegal drugs. The fight will not stop until those who deal in (drugs) understand that they have to stop because the alternatives are either jail or hell, he said. PHILIPPINES CANCELS TALKS WITH COMMUNIST REBELS AMID ATTACKS Duterte also addressed the United States in his speech by demanding America give back three church bells that were seized more than a century ago in the Philippine village of Balangiga. Give us back those Balangiga bells…They are part of our national heritage ... return it to us, this is painful for us.

Translations for painful

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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  1. painful

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    An antonym for "disparage"
    • A. minimize
    • B. belittle
    • C. blandish
    • D. diminish

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