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See also: pénible



From Old French penible. Compare painable.


penible (comparative more penible, superlative most penible)

  1. (obsolete) painstaking; assiduous
    • c1386, Geoffrey Chaucer, Clerk's Tale:
      The moore trewe if þat it were possible She was to hym in loue and moore penyble.
    • 1840, Joel Samuel Polack, Manners and Customs of the New Zealanders:
      The encroachments of these men, who are aware of their power, often has rendered the residence of a European among the tribes, the most penible state of existence.
    • 1862, Mrs. Henry Freshfield, A Summer Tour in the Grisons and Italian Valleys of the Bernina
      This was the most "penible" portion of the walk, for although not very steep, the loose and slippery boulders, which covered the surface, made it so insecure that great care was necessary.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for penible in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)



  • (file)



  1. inflection of penibel:
    1. strong/mixed nominative/accusative feminine singular
    2. strong nominative/accusative plural
    3. weak nominative all-gender singular
    4. weak accusative feminine/neuter singular

Middle French[edit]


penible m or f (plural penibles)

  1. terrible; awful; horrible


  • French: pénible