1. [ adjective ] causing physical or psychological pain

"worked with painful slowness"

Related terms: painless sensitive burning poignant agonising agonizing prickling racking aching agonised chafed agonized saddle-sore smarting traumatic biting inhumane prickling harmful
2. [ adjective ] causing misery or pain or distress
Synonyms: sore afflictive

"it was a sore trial to him" "the painful process of growing up"

Related terms: unpleasant
3. [ adjective ] exceptionally bad or displeasing
Synonyms: awful unspeakable terrible dreadful abominable atrocious

"atrocious taste" "abominable workmanship" "an awful voice" "dreadful manners" "a painful performance" "terrible handwriting" "an unspeakable odor came sweeping into the room"

Related terms: bad
4. [ adjective ] causing physical discomfort
Synonyms: irritating

"bites of black flies are more than irritating they can be very painful"

Related terms: uncomfortable
Similar spelling:   painfully