Definition of ache noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//eɪk//
; NAmE NAmE//eɪk//
Being ill
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(often in compounds) a continuous feeling of pain in a part of the body Mummy, I've got a tummy ache. Muscular aches and pains can be soothed by a relaxing massage. (figurative) an ache in my heart (= a continuous sad feeling) see also achy, bellyache, heartache See related entries: Being ill Word OriginOld English æce (noun), acan (verb). In Middle and early modern English the noun was spelled atche and rhymed with ‘batch’ and the verb was spelled and pronounced as it is today. The noun began to be pronounced like the verb around 1700. The modern spelling is largely due to Dr Johnson, who mistakenly assumed its derivation to be from Greek akhos ‘pain’.Extra examples He changed his position once again to ease the ache in his back. He was always complaining about his various aches and pains. I felt the familiar ache in my lower back. She could hardly speak for the ache in her heart. She kept feeling the nagging ache in her heart. a nagging ache in her knee the ache of loneliness inside him Mummy, I’ve got a tummy ache. You get more aches and pains as you get older. an ache in my heart to have a stomach ache/​headache/​backache/​toothache
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: ache

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