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Alternative forms[edit]


hurt +‎ -ful


hurtful (comparative more hurtful, superlative most hurtful)

  1. Tending to impair or damage; injurious; occasioning loss or injury.
    • 1649, John Milton, Eikonoklastes:
      A good principle not rightly understood may prove as hurtful as a bad.
    • 1890, George Henry Rohé, Text-book of hygiene:
      Well-cultivated soils are often healthy; nor at present has it been proved that the use of manure is hurtful.
  2. Tending to hurt someone's feelings; insulting.
    • 2000, Michael Paymar, Violent No More:
      Both men and women can be emotionally abusive. Even in the healthiest relationships, people occasionally reach down into their personal bags of known remembrances, past disagreements, and unresolved issues, and fling hurtful comments at their partners.
    • 2006, Ryan Phillips, Fall from Grace:
      Better yet, maybe she should call and apologize for all of the rude comments she spewed in the midst of her anger—hurtful comments that should never be spoken between a wife and her husband.


Related terms[edit]