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1. Full of or giving pain: a painful shoulder; painful walking.
a. Causing mental anguish or suffering: It was painful for him to admit he was wrong.
b. Distressing or embarrassing: A painful silence followed his remark.
c. Requiring care and labor; difficult or irksome: a painful way of fixing the problem.
3. Marked by or requiring great care and diligence: gave the matter painful consideration.

pain′ful·ly adv.
pain′ful·ness n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.painfulness - emotional distress; a fundamental feeling that people try to avoid; "the pain of loneliness"
feeling - the experiencing of affective and emotional states; "she had a feeling of euphoria"; "he had terrible feelings of guilt"; "I disliked him and the feeling was mutual"
growing pains - emotional distress arising during adolescence
unpleasantness - the feeling caused by disagreeable stimuli; one pole of a continuum of states of feeling
mental anguish - sustained dull painful emotion
hurt, suffering - feelings of mental or physical pain
distress, hurt, suffering - psychological suffering; "the death of his wife caused him great distress"
2.painfulness - the quality of being painful; "she feared the painfulness of childbirth"
sharpness - the quality of being keenly and painfully felt; "the sharpness of her loss"
quality - an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone; "the quality of mercy is not strained"--Shakespeare
References in classic literature ?
As I walked away, I was full of thoughtfulness; what had been incidentally revealed to me of Captain Ahab, filled me with a certain wild vagueness of painfulness concerning him.
Placed in a mental position of peculiar painfulness, beyond the assuaging reach even of Mrs.
The peculiar V-shaped mouth with its pointed upper lip, the absence of brow ridges, the absence of a chin beneath the wedgelike lower lip, the incessant quivering of this mouth, the Gorgon groups of tentacles, the tumultuous breathing of the lungs in a strange atmosphere, the evident heaviness and painfulness of movement due to the greater gravitational energy of the earth--above all, the extraordinary intensity of the immense eyes--were at once vital, intense, inhuman, crippled and monstrous.
But even the novelty and painfulness of his going to a Papistical land could no displace for long Mr and Mrs Clare's natural interest in their son's marriage.
Another circumstance which decided him to postpone pursuit of the Arabs was the painfulness of his wound.
I went from cell to cell that day; and every face I saw, or word I heard, or incident I noted, is present to my mind in all its painfulness.
Of this year's winners, no-one was more deserving than Phd student Michael Smith, from Cornell University in the US, who tested the painfulness of bee stings on 25 locations on his own body.
272) Some argue the maiming and disfigurement caused by cluster munitions violate the principle of unnecessary suffering due to the painfulness and severity of the wounds among the survivors.
The results of studies show that the performance of regular aerobic exercises affects the severity of premenstrual dysmenorrhea and reduces its painfulness.
Geneva, Dhu-AlQa'dah 17, 1434, Sep 23, 2013, SPA -- The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stressed that the Israeli continual flagrant violations of human rights and humanity, including the 4th Geneva Convention, causes deep sadness and painfulness to peace,-dignity-and-freedom lovers.
as symptoms of the inherent painfulness of life" (Tate, p.
Killing the Messenger: Representationalism and the Painfulness of Pain, HILLA JACOBSON