from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To cause physical damage or pain to; injure.
  • transitive v. To cause mental or emotional suffering to; distress.
  • transitive v. To cause physical damage to; harm: The frost hurt the orange crop.
  • transitive v. To be detrimental to; hinder or impair: The scandal hurt the candidate's chances for victory.
  • intransitive v. To have or produce a feeling of physical pain or discomfort: My leg hurts.
  • intransitive v. To cause distress or damage: Parental neglect hurts.
  • intransitive v. To have an adverse effect: "It never hurt to have a friend at court” ( Tom Clancy).
  • intransitive v. Informal To experience distress, especially of a financial kind; be in need: "Even in a business that's hurting there's always a guy who can make a buck” ( New York).
  • n. Something that hurts; a pain, injury, or wound.
  • n. Mental suffering; anguish: getting over the hurt of reading the letter.
  • n. A wrong; harm: What hurt have you done to them?

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To be painful.
  • v. To cause (a creature) physical pain and/or injury.
  • v. To cause (somebody) emotional pain.
  • v. To undermine, impede, or damage.
  • adj. Wounded, physically injured.
  • adj. Pained.
  • n. An emotional or psychological hurt (humiliation or bad experience)
  • n. A wound or pain.
  • n. A roundel azure (blue circular spot).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A band on a trip-hammer helve, bearing the trunnions.
  • n. A husk. See husk, 2.
  • transitive v. To cause physical pain to; to do bodily harm to; to wound or bruise painfully.
  • transitive v. To impar the value, usefulness, beauty, or pleasure of; to damage; to injure; to harm.
  • transitive v. To wound the feelings of; to cause mental pain to; to offend in honor or self-respect; to annoy; to grieve.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To knock, hit, or dash against, so as to wound or pain; inflict suffering upon.
  • To give mental pain to; wound or injure in mind or feelings; grieve; distress.
  • In general, to do harm or mischief to; affect injuriously; endamage.
  • To cause injury, harm, or pain of any kind, mental or physical.
  • To rush with violence.
  • n. An injury, especially one that gives physical or mental pain, as a wound, bruise, insult, etc.; in general, damage; impairment; detriment; harm.
  • n. Synonyms Harm, Mischief, etc. See injury.
  • n. The huckleberry, particularly Vaccinium Myrtillus.
  • n. In heraldry, a roundel azure, representing the huckleberry.
  • n. Contracted third person singular indicative present for hurteth.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. cause emotional anguish or make miserable
  • adj. damaged inanimate objects or their value
  • v. give trouble or pain to
  • adj. suffering from physical injury especially that suffered in battle
  • n. psychological suffering
  • n. feelings of mental or physical pain
  • n. the act of damaging something or someone
  • v. feel pain or be in pain
  • v. be the source of pain
  • n. a damage or loss
  • v. feel physical pain
  • n. any physical damage to the body caused by violence or accident or fracture etc.
  • v. cause damage or affect negatively
  • v. hurt the feelings of


Middle English hurten, possibly from Old French hurter, to bang into, perhaps of Germanic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English hurten, hirten, hertan ("to injure, scathe, knock together"), probably from Anglo-Norman hurter ("to ram into, strike, collide with") (compare French heurter ("to knock against, oppose")), ultimately from Old Norse hrútr ("ram (male sheep)"), lengthened-grade variant of hjǫrtr ("stag"), from Proto-Germanic *herutuz, *herutaz (“hart, male deer”). More at hart. Old French also gave Middle High German hurten and Dutch horten. (Wiktionary)


Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel.

    October 9, 2007