Definition of ache in English:


Line breaks: ache
Pronunciation: /eɪk



[no object] Back to top  
  • 1Suffer from a continuous dull pain: my legs ached from the previous day’s exercise I’m aching all over
    More example sentences
    • But by now I was bed-bound, unable to think straight, aching continually with what appeared to be a consistent low-grade flu.
    • He was sore and ached, but his leg suffered no real damage.
    • She was aching with pain and felt weak, helpless, frightened and much worse than any of those combined: hopeless.
    hurt, be sore, be painful, be in pain, throb, pound, twinge; smart, gnaw, burn, tingle, sting, be uncomfortable, be tender, give someone trouble
    informal play up, give someone gyp
    painful, achy, sore, stiff, hurt, tender, uncomfortable, troublesome; hurting, in pain, throbbing, pounding, twingeing; smarting, gnawing, burning, tingling, stinging, agonizing, searing, feeling tender, feeling uncomfortable, giving someone trouble
    informal killing, playing someone up, giving someone gyp


Old English æce (noun), acan (verb). In Middle and early modern English the noun was spelled atche and rhymed with 'batch' and the verb was spelled and pronounced as it is today. The noun began to be pronounced like the verb around 1700. The modern spelling is largely due to Dr Johnson, who mistakenly assumed its derivation to be from Greek akhos 'pain'.

More definitions of ache

Definition of ache in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day milord
Pronunciation: mɪˈlɔːd
used to address an English nobleman