Definition of hurt in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /hərt/

verb (past and past participle hurt)

[with object]
1Cause physical pain or injury to: Ow! You’re hurting me! [no object]: does acupuncture hurt?
More example sentences
  • Despite being seriously hurt, their injuries are not life-threatening, and their families are with them at the hospital.
  • 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.
injure, wound, damage, abuse, disable, incapacitate, maim, mutilate, wrench;
bruise, cut, gash, graze, scrape, scratch, lacerate
1.1 [no object] (Of a part of the body) suffer pain: my back hurts
More example sentences
  • The problem when you are injured is regaining strength - but your body hurts all the time and exercise causes even more pain.
  • His head felt like it was on fire, and his whole body hurt with a dull ache.
  • My body hurts so much that I can barely hold myself upright.
be painful, be sore, be tender, cause pain, cause discomfort;
ache, smart, sting, burn, throb
informal be killing (one)
1.2Cause mental pain or distress to (a person or their feelings): she didn’t want to hurt his feelings
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • It was always painful to hurt other people's feelings, and to destroy their hopes along with it.
distress, pain, wound, sting, upset, sadden, devastate, grieve, mortify;
cut to the quick
1.3 [no object] (Of a person) feel mental pain or distress: he was hurting badly, but he smiled through his tears
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • We were hurting badly and I wanted to know how Paul was feeling because he had missed the decisive penalty.
  • He replied sternly, but his voice indicated how badly he was hurting.
1.4Be detrimental to: high interest rates are hurting the local economy
More example sentences
  • Higher interest rates can hurt stocks because they raise the cost of borrowing to expand businesses and cut into corporate profits.
  • 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.
  • And a sharp spike in interest rates would hurt some homeowners who have just got their foot on the housing ladder.
harm, damage, be detrimental to, weaken, blight, impede, jeopardize, undermine, ruin, wreck, sabotage, cripple
1.5 [no object] (hurt for) North American informal Have a pressing need for: Frank wasn’t hurting for money
More example sentences
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • Not terribly big, but big enough that we weren't 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
More example sentences
  • Now Cutler has a hurt ankle to add to his groin injury.
  • A player comes hobbling off out of the game with a hurt knee.
  • He doesn't have a hurt arm, doesn't have a sore arm.
1.1Distressed or offended by another person’s behavior: “You know I care,” he said, in a hurt voice I felt so hurt and alone
More example sentences
  • "There were hurt feelings on both sides, you know," he said in a phone interview.
  • At its best, the theater is a balm for hurt minds.
  • He could not look at Zoya's hurt face and he walked off.


1Physical injury; harm.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • On Monday, a mystery blast on the capital's main street inflicted direct physical hurt on more than a dozen people.
  • 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.
1.1Mental pain or distress: the hurt of being constantly ignored wariness that masked a hurt
More example sentences
  • They will never see their marriage discussed, or their hurts and pains made public.
  • 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.
  • Are responses that are more traumatic related to previous hurts, the couples' dynamic, the nature of the infidelity, or some other issue?
distress, pain, suffering, injury, grief, misery, anguish, agony, trauma, woe, upset, sadness, sorrow;
harm, damage, trouble


Middle English (originally in the senses 'to strike' and 'a blow'): from Old French hurter (verb), hurt (noun), perhaps ultimately of Germanic origin.

Words that rhyme with hurt

advert, alert, animadvert, assert, avert, Bert, blurt, Burt, cert, chert, concert, controvert, convert, curt, desert, dessert, dirt, divert, exert, flirt, girt, inert, insert, introvert, Kurt, malapert, overt, pert, quirt, shirt, skirt, spirt, spurt, squirt, Sturt, subvert, vert, wort, yurt

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: hurt

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.