Definition of hurt in English:



  • 1Cause pain or injury to.

    ‘Ow! You're hurting me!’
    [no object] ‘does acupuncture hurt?’
    • ‘Adam pulled her down beside him and tried to turn toward her, but cried out in pain as he hurt his side.’
    • ‘The pain is constant and hurts the worst where the object is pressing on your head.’
    • ‘Strange as it seems, self-injurers feel little or no pain when they hurt themselves.’
    • ‘Despite being seriously hurt, their injuries are not life-threatening, and their families are with them at the hospital.’
    • ‘You know the birth is going to hurt - more pain than you can ever imagine.’
    • ‘I was scared at the start but after a while you get used to the pain - you hurt your shins all the time.’
    • ‘They would hurt you till you cry out then hurt you even worse so you are begging for the previous pain because it hurt less.’
    • ‘Not doing physical activity or trying to do too much can hurt chronic pain patients.’
    • ‘But I'm not into hurting him - inflicting pain is just not right for me.’
    • ‘The pain hurt Spinner, but his mind was in a daze so bad that he was almost numbed.’
    • ‘Injuries may hurt but the pain of not being able to reach his own exacting standards would be harder to deal with.’
    • ‘Wow, I must have awesome pain tolerance if it hurts him that much.’
    • ‘The paramedic who rushed to the scene of the injury was himself hurt when a cupboard fell on his back while he was putting a fluid line into the hand of one of the injured shoppers.’
    • ‘Xander got up slowly, a terrible blazing pain hurting his left arm.’
    • ‘His injuries hurt him, but one of them had to be able to walk out of there.’
    • ‘It was one of those spectacular injuries that doesn't hurt much but involves impressive blood loss that actually drips on to the ground.’
    • ‘The man, who was not wearing a cycle helmet, was seriously hurt, but his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.’
    • ‘The driver was badly hurt, but his injuries were not thought to be life-threatening.’
    • ‘On top of that, they're going to get a lot of guys back defensively who have been hurt by nagging injuries.’
    • ‘The pain did not hurt him, rather it woke him up from a trancelike state of hopelessness.’
    injure, wound, damage, disable, incapacitate, impair, maim, mutilate, cause injury to, cause pain to
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    1. 1.1[no object](of a part of the body) suffer pain.
      ‘my back hurts’
      • ‘My body hurts, but the coldness is so predominant that I don't care.’
      • ‘Her ribs ached, her stomach hurt unmercifully, and her back was killing her.’
      • ‘His face was swollen, his nose hurt, his back ached, and his corn was bothering him.’
      • ‘Being ill sucks, I have a summer fluey/cold thing which is making my bones ache, and my head hurt and I am tired and falling asleep at the drop of a hat.’
      • ‘My body hurts on every square inch of it, feeling as through I've had a million cuts made to me, every nerve crying out.’
      • ‘Players need to stretch out the parts of the body that hurt, relax and let the pulse rate drop.’
      • ‘He felt light headed and dizzy and his body was hurting.’
      • ‘Her stomach hurt, her head throbbed, and her hands felt clammy and cold.’
      • ‘I laugh so hard my whole body starts hurting again, causing me to flinch.’
      • ‘My chest hurts and my body feels canted at the wrong angle.’
      • ‘His head felt like it was on fire, and his whole body hurt with a dull ache.’
      • ‘Her arm hurt, her stomach hurt, her face ached on both sides, and she tasted the salty sweetness of blood in her mouth.’
      • ‘My mom says it will hurt for about a week after the surgery.’
      • ‘She moaned in irritation as her eyes began to hurt, and the pain slowly returned to her body.’
      • ‘And his eyes were hurting, throbbing, burning when he looked at her.’
      • ‘My body hurts so much that I can barely hold myself upright.’
      • ‘My left shoulder had been hurting for a year since a bike accident.’
      • ‘The problem when you are injured is regaining strength - but your body hurts all the time and exercise causes even more pain.’
      • ‘Every muscle in your body hurts, and that I didn't enjoy at all.’
      • ‘He was tired and his body was hurting all over, but he persevered.’
      be painful, be sore, be tender, cause pain, cause discomfort, ache, smart, sting, burn, tingle, throb
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    2. 1.2Cause distress to.
      ‘she didn't want to hurt his feelings’
      • ‘It was always painful to hurt other people's feelings, and to destroy their hopes along with it.’
      • ‘It hurts me sore to say it, but, however she got there, we heard or saw nothing.’
      • ‘Their paranoia is discrediting them, burning bridges, and hurting us.’
      • ‘He jumped about a foot into the air, startled that a girl he had hurt so badly in the past could still have any feelings for him.’
      distress, pain, wound, offend, sting, upset, sadden, devastate, mortify, grieve, aggrieve, be hurtful to, hurt someone's feelings, cause sorrow, cause suffering, cause anguish, make unhappy, give offence to, cut to the quick
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    3. 1.3[no object](of a person) feel distress.
      ‘he was hurting badly, but he smiled through his tears’
      • ‘They hurt for the wounded and the dead but they are eager to continue to attack.’
      • ‘If I do it right now it'll just be a case of lashing out while I'm hurting, wanting other people to hurt too - and that's not my style.’
      • ‘She would never let it show to anyone how she really felt, no-one knew just how badly she was hurting inside, not even her closest friends knew the half of it.’
      • ‘This state of affairs is very, very sad with many people hurting and, indeed, becoming disillusioned.’
      • ‘A lot of people are hurting because of this sad decision.’
      • ‘He replied sternly, but his voice indicated how badly he was hurting.’
      • ‘Right now, his sister was hurting badly and it made him want to cry too.’
      • ‘We were hurting badly and I wanted to know how Paul was feeling because he had missed the decisive penalty.’
      • ‘We realise, these people are hurting, they've lost their mother.’
      • ‘However it took a few seconds before I remembered why I was hurting so badly.’
      • ‘At least in there she knew she could never hurt as badly as she had last night.’
      • ‘We cannot continue to turn a blind eye or ear and pretend that all is well when many people are hurting and yearning for help.’
      • ‘I think I have to be more prepared to let go and let people hurt on their own.’
      • ‘I mean, some people are hurting out there, and they need the money, and they should go ahead and accept it and move on.’
      • ‘However, it is two hours into the program and a recurring trend is that these people are hurting as badly as any progressives are in this country.’
      • ‘She was hurting, badly, and if she stayed the whole time, well that was just going to be a shock.’
      • ‘People are hurting and they are told relentlessly day in and day out that liberals from big cities are the ones inflicting the pain.’
      • ‘The desperate need for attention is obviously overwhelming and I hurt for kids like this.’
      • ‘If one person was hurting, he or she could pretty much count on having a good 4 or 5 people sticking close and offering an ear or a shoulder.’
      • ‘Understanding how much another person hurts emotionally is good and bad.’
  • 2Be detrimental to.

    ‘high interest rates are hurting the local economy’
    • ‘Economists and bankers say an increase in the prime rate will not hurt the economy.’
    • ‘That's because low and falling utilization rates also hurt profit margins, not just once, but twice.’
    • ‘This may help the ecosystem, but it hurts the economy.’
    • ‘Raising rates now would hurt economic growth in the US and stifle the green shoots of recovery in Europe.’
    • ‘Nonethless, it is still far too high, and the exchange rate is hurting NZ exporters.’
    • ‘The water shortage hurts the local economy as well as growers.’
    • ‘Raising tax rates would hurt the expansion and weaken the incentives that drive long-term growth.’
    • ‘That will raise long-term rates, hurt Toronto's equity markets, and delay the recovery.’
    • ‘The attitudes encouraged by the drug trade also have hurt the economy.’
    • ‘It will hurt local business, according to a survey the newspaper conducted.’
    • ‘Is the current gambling scandal hurting the economy?’
    • ‘So I guess we're only supposed to intervene when it will hurt our interests.’
    • ‘It is highly irresponsible, and hurting the world economy.’
    • ‘While many in the country welcome this, some say in some way it's hurting the local industry.’
    • ‘And a sharp spike in interest rates would hurt some homeowners who have just got their foot on the housing ladder.’
    • ‘Deficit budgeting has led to higher interest rates, hurting homebuyers and small businesses.’
    • ‘But interestingly, not one of us was willing to argue that it hurts the interests of those it is intended to help.’
    • ‘Of course, there's always a risk the markets will overdo it and push long-term interest rates too high, hurting the economy in the process.’
    • ‘With employment, for example, there is a level of distress that hurts demand.’
    • ‘Higher interest rates can hurt stocks because they raise the cost of borrowing to expand businesses and cut into corporate profits.’
    harm, damage, do harm to, be detrimental to, weaken, spoil, mar, blemish, blight, impair, impede, jeopardize, undermine, ruin, wreck, sabotage, cripple
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  • 3North American informal [no object] Have a pressing need for.

    ‘Frank wasn't hurting for money’
    • ‘Now, the question is, of course, if those fail, can she continue to make that kind of money, not that she's hurting for money these days, I'm sure?’
    • ‘Not terribly big, but big enough that we weren't hurting for money.’
    • ‘Despite her whopping $50 million settlement she is said to be hurting for cash.’
    • ‘Chinatown, here in Boston, where I live, is hurting for business.’
    • ‘I heard myself say, ‘With gold chains and designer underwear, I don't think you're hurting for five dollars.’’
    • ‘‘It is difficult to understand exactly why people do this, but it could be an abnormal way of illicitly seeking love or care - they may actually be hurting for love,’ he said.’
    • ‘It is difficult even to take seriously the proposition that, whether because of globalization or otherwise, the governments of industrialized countries are hurting for tax revenue.’
    • ‘I take it that the bus routes were created when Metro trains were still relatively new and hurting for customers, and the idea was to feed them with the buses.’
    • ‘But at the same time that the U.S. armed forces are hurting for qualified soldiers, they're also firing qualified soldiers just because they're gay.’
    • ‘Well, let's just say she's considered a major player in the world of mystery just about everywhere and she's definitely not hurting for money.’


  • 1Physically injured.

    ‘he complained of a hurt leg and asked his trainer to stop the fight’
    ‘dogs and cats with hurt paws’
    • ‘Now Cutler has a hurt ankle to add to his groin injury.’
    • ‘She demanded he take her to a doctor to have her hurt finger attended to.’
    • ‘A player comes hobbling off out of the game with a hurt knee.’
    • ‘I'm not using the treadmill right now while allowing a hurt foot to heal completely.’
    • ‘Instead of apologising to the hurt pedestrian, the man continues walking and smirks.’
    • ‘He doesn't have a hurt arm, doesn't have a sore arm.’
    • ‘I was worried about him looking hurt yesterday, but he comes to work and plays through pain.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, he's got a hurt shoulder, so Hayley dances with Leonardo.’
    1. 1.1Distressed or offended by another person's behaviour.
      ‘‘You know I care,’ he said, in a hurt voice’
      ‘I felt so hurt and alone’
      • ‘What we do is provide hope to people who feel alone and lost, hurt and looking for answers.’
      • ‘He could not look at Zoya's hurt face and he walked off.’
      • ‘He tells Hannah he has to get to sleep since he's got work tomorrow and she seems hurt and shocked.’
      • ‘He sat for a moment, looking hurt and confused and not quite able to digest all this terrible news.’
      • ‘But a tearful, hurt Elena's got vengeance on her mind now.’
      • ‘I questioned him without trying to be judgmental but the hurt tone was definitely there.’
      • ‘Although she wanted to break up with him a long time ago, she is really hurt and heartbroken which is understandable.’
      • ‘"There were hurt feelings on both sides, you know," he said in a phone interview.’
      • ‘Out of the corner of his eye he glimpsed the hurt look on her face.’
      • ‘At its best, the theater is a balm for hurt minds.’


  • 1[mass noun] Physical injury; harm.

    ‘rolling properly into a fall minimizes hurt’
    • ‘The hurt or injury need not be serious or permanent but must be more than trifling or transient.’
    • ‘All this hurt and harm in the name of God can hardly be described as a Christian approach.’
    • ‘Have compassion for all beings, causing them no unnecessary hurt, nor needless harm.’
    • ‘Of course the main section of bullying would have to be physical hurt of others.’
    • ‘As one correspondent puts it, the message that hurt does not mean harm needs reinforcing.’
    • ‘Surely, innocent victims who suffer lifelong injuries should receive proper compensation for the hurt and injury.’
    • ‘He tried reaching over to his right pocket but any shift in his position now meant a world of hurt from his open wounds.’
    • ‘On Monday, a mystery blast on the capital's main street inflicted direct physical hurt on more than a dozen people.’
    • ‘Actual bodily harm is any hurt or injury calculated to interfere with the health and so called comfort of the victim and must be more than merely trivial or transient.’
    • ‘While there was undoubtedly physical hurt, it is the psychological damage that rankles most.’
    • ‘The physical hurt includes a couple of broken legs.’
    • ‘It is to Nicola's eternal credit that her main concern was that those with her in the salon had managed to dash to safety and escape physical hurt.’
    harm, injury, wounding, pain, suffering, discomfort, soreness, aching, smarting, stinging, throbbing, pangs
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    1. 1.1Emotional pain or distress.
      ‘her eyes reflected her unhappiness and hurt’
      [count noun] ‘it's time to forgive past hurts and open your heart’
      • ‘I look like a cool and chilled person, but I gathered all my past hurt while acting.’
      • ‘Careseekers come for help with a load of experiences, stresses, new and old hurts, anxieties and questions.’
      • ‘Elsie didn't feel sad at those words, nor did she feel a pang of hurt.’
      • ‘One of the most painful ways to wound your partner with guilt is to bring up past hurts and wrongs.’
      • ‘My concern is that it would harm our relationship by causing hurt or confused feelings.’
      • ‘The judge told him that personal hurt is no reason to break the law.’
      • ‘But, in between, there were dozens and dozens of people who showed every sign of genuine hurt and incomprehension.’
      • ‘Nicholas sighed lightly and let his gaze fall to the ground, trying not to show his hurt at how distant she was becoming.’
      • ‘Joey felt a pang of hurt at the mention of Lauren's name, but she contained herself.’
      • ‘However, I've learnt from my experiences and my hurts, and I've come to the conclusion that I want to try something different.’
      • ‘Besides, the last comment he bestowed upon her still caused small pangs of hurt, though he probably did not care.’
      • ‘He was remembering hurts, and feeling new pains.’
      • ‘This helps to protect people from the intense hurt of the loss.’
      • ‘It's extremely difficult to do, and I think that one of the reasons that people tend to hold on to their hurts or to their upsets is that it does require giving up part of yourself.’
      • ‘He felt a pang of hurt and shock, to think that his sis, the one person he could always trust, wouldn't tell him when the wake was.’
      • ‘They will never see their marriage discussed, or their hurts and pains made public.’
      • ‘I got in the shower, the hot water seemed to away a tiny bit of my stress and hurt, though not much.’
      • ‘Are responses that are more traumatic related to previous hurts, the couples' dynamic, the nature of the infidelity, or some other issue?’
      • ‘There are so many people around the world who are reliving their hurt.’
      • ‘If there was nothing else that his life had taught him, it was that being distrustful was the only way he could survive amidst endless hurts and pain.’
      distress, pain, suffering, grief, misery, anguish, torment, trauma, woe, upset, sadness, sorrow, wretchedness
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Middle English (originally in the senses ‘to strike’ and ‘a blow’): from Old French hurter (verb), hurt (noun), perhaps ultimately of Germanic origin.