Synonyms of painful
1 soreDictionary • Her glands were swollen and painful.
sore • My chest is still sore from the surgery.
aching • The aching joints and fever should last no longer than a few days.
raw • the drag of the rope against the raw flesh of my shoulder
tender • My tummy felt very tender.
2 distressingDictionary • His remark brought back painful memories.
distressing • the distressing symptoms of anxiety
unpleasant • They tolerated what they felt was an unpleasant situation.
harrowing • harrowing pictures of the children who had been murdered
grievous • Their loss would be a grievous blow to our engineering industries.
distasteful • an extremely unpleasant and distasteful experience
agonizing • The wait was agonizing.
disagreeable • a disagreeable odour
3 difficultDictionary • the long and painful process of getting divorced
difficult • It is difficult for single mothers to get jobs.
arduous • The task was more arduous than he had calculated.
trying • The whole business has been very trying.
hard • That's a very hard question.
severe • He had faced an appallingly severe task in the jungle.
troublesome • The economy has become a troublesome problem for the party.
laborious • Keeping the garden tidy all year round can be a laborious task.
vexatious • the vexatious behaviour of petty-minded officials
4 terribleDictionary (informal) • The interview was painful to watch.
terrible (informal) • I have the most terrible nightmares.
awful • Even if the weather's awful there's still lots to do.
dreadful • They told us the dreadful news.
dire • a book of verse which ranged from the barely tolerable to the utterly dire
abysmal • The general standard was abysmal.
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abysmalIf you describe a situation or the condition of something as abysmal, you think that it is very bad or poor in quality.
• The general standard was abysmal.
• The aching joints and fever should last no longer than a few days.
agonizingSomething that is agonizing causes you to feel great physical or mental pain.
• The wait was agonizing.
Thesaurus for painful from the Collins English Thesaurus