from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Causing pain.
- adj. Full of pain.
- adj. Requiring care and labor; irksome: a painful task.
- adj. Archaic Diligent; careful.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Full of pain; causing uneasiness or distress, either physical or mental; afflictive; disquieting; distressing.
- adj. Requiring labor or toil; difficult; executed with laborious effort.
- adj. Painstaking; careful; industrious.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- That gives or is characterized by pain; of a nature to pain, render uneasy, or inflict suffering, whether bodily or mental; distressing: as, a painful operation in surgery; a painful effort; a painful subject.
- That requires or necessitates labor, exertion, care, or attention; troublesome; difficult; toilsome.
- Painstaking; industrious; busy; careful; laborious; hard-working.
- Synonyms and Racking, agonizing, tormenting, torturing, excruciating, arduous, severe, grievous, trying, afflictive.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. causing misery or pain or distress
- adj. causing physical or psychological pain
- adj. causing physical discomfort
- adj. exceptionally bad or displeasing
From pain + -ful. (Wiktionary)