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



    BrE BrE//peɪn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//peɪn//
    see also pains Unhappiness, Describing annoying traits, Injuries, Being ill
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  1. 1  [uncountable, countable] the feelings that you have in your body when you have been hurt or when you are ill/sick a cry of pain She was clearly in a lot of pain. He felt a sharp pain in his knee. patients suffering from acute back pain stomach/chest pains You get more aches and pains as you get older. The booklet contains information on pain relief during labour. This cream should help to relieve the pain. see also growing pains Wordfinderacute, condition, health, medicine, outbreak, pain, recover, relapse, terminal, treatment See related entries: Injuries, Being ill
  2. 2  [uncountable, countable] mental or emotional suffering the pain of separation I never meant to cause her pain. the pleasures and pains of growing old a life full of pain and suffering See related entries: Unhappiness
  3. 3[countable] (informal) a person or thing that is very annoying She can be a real pain when she's in a bad mood. It's a pain having to go all that way for just one meeting. See related entries: Describing annoying traits
  4. Word OriginMiddle English (in the sense ‘suffering inflicted as punishment for an offence’): from Old French peine, from Latin poena ‘penalty’, later ‘pain’.Extra examples A sharp pain hit the middle of my chest and I collapsed. A sharp pain shot up his leg. Can you feel any pain? Doctors used to treat back pain with rest. Ellen saw the pain etched on his face when he mentioned his ex-wife’s name. Eucalyptus oil is good for easing muscular aches and pains. For a few moments she forgot the pain he had caused her. Has the pain gone yet? He tried to conceal his pain from her. He was obviously in a great deal of pain. He was taken to hospital suffering from severe abdominal pain. He went to the doctor with chest pains. His back gives him a lot of pain. His face was contorted with pain as he crossed the finish line. I could sense her pain and put my arm around her. I don’t want to relive the pain of losing her. I have a very low threshold for pain. If the pain persists, see your doctor. It took him several years to get over the pain of losing his job. It was lovely to have someone there to share both the pain and the joy. It’s wrong to inflict pain on any animal. Marathon runners are used to going through pain. Nothing could heal the pain of her son’s death. Pain wracked her frail body once more. She had a burning pain in one eye. She knew the pain of separation. She’s been in bed with back pain. The government has to persuade the people that the economic reforms are worth the pain. The pains began shortly after she started work as a gardener. The treatments helped manage his pain. These pills should ease the pain. Through her drug addiction she had inflicted a lot of pain on the family. We hoped to spare her the pain of having to meet her attacker. Your doctor should be able to do something for the pain. a pain in her side the phantom pain of a lost limb It’s a pain having to go all that way for just one meeting. She had never meant to cause him any pain. She was clearly in a lot of pain. That man’s a pain in the neck! The pain of separation remained intense. This cream should help to relieve the pain.Idioms (saying) used to say that you need to suffer if you want to achieve something
    on/under pain of something
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    (formal) with the threat of having something done to you as a punishment if you do not obey They were required to cut pollution levels, on pain of a £10 000 fine if they disobeyed.
    a pain in the neck (British English also a pain in the arse/backside) (North American English also a pain in the ass/butt)
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    (informal) a person or thing that is very annoying
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: pain