American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Causing pain.
- adj. Full of pain.
- adj. Requiring care and labor; irksome: a painful task.
- adj. Archaic Diligent; careful.
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.
GNU Webster's 1913
- 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. obsolete Painstaking; careful; industrious.
- 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)
“Just five weeks ago, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett proposed a $4.3 billion budget packed with what he called painful choices, including raising taxes and cutting popular programs.”
“But the bottom line, the reason why this is major news is you now have a U.S. president really trying to prod both sides to make what he called painful political concessions, to make difficult choices, and putting, basically, a deadline on it.”
“Plus, Michelle Obama speaking very candidly about what she calls the painful, difficult controversy dogging her husband's campaign.”
“Also, it continues to be the positions of Israel, Arthel, that it wants to see changes to this road map and that it believes the Palestinians need to visibly crackdown on terror organizations before Prime Minister Sharon says Israel is prepared to make what he calls painful concessions.”
“The original sketch is only an improvisation, but with the second version begins what he calls the painful part of his labor.”
“Even today, scientists working with animals tend to think it sentimental to describe animals as feeling "pain" and generally replace the word "painful" with "nociception" in clinical trials.”
“Governor Deval Patrick proposed dozens of deep cuts, a few new fees, and some one-time fixes yesterday, as part of what he called a painful but ambitious plan to close a projected”
“The Governor, however, decried what he described as the painful loss of some oil wells belonging to the State to another state and the delisting of the State from the league of oil producing states occasioned by the ceding of Bakassi.”
“One wished he had displayed this deft political acumen in the past five years and in doing so could have avoided what he calls painful adjectives as being the 'weakest prime minister' this country has seen.”
“Ryan, who had doubled as special-education director since 2006, apologized for what she characterized as a painful episode for the island community and said she has always kept the children's best interests at heart.”
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