Basic+ Word of the Day: pain

pain (noun, verb) past tense: pained LISTEN

Pain is physical suffering or great discomfort.

  • Helen's back pain was so severe that she could not sleep.
  • When Grandpa had a pain in his knee, he knew that it was going to rain.

Pain can also be mental or emotional distress.

  • The pain of losing a parent never goes away.
  • Jessica felt the pain of loneliness even when she went out with her friends.

Pain also means ‘to cause pain to.’

  • "It pains me to tell you that you did not get the job."

Common uses

No pain, no gain: is an expression you may hear at the gym. It means, that if you want to accomplish anything with exercise, you have to work until it hurts.

take pains to: to try very hard to do something in a particular way. Example: “Ms Hinton took pains to answer all her students’ questions with patience.”

Did you know?

If someone calls you a pain, it means that you are annoying or difficult to deal with. They may also say, “He’s a royal pain,” or “She’s a pain in the neck,” or “You’re a pain in the ass.” Of course, all of these expressions are insulting, but “pain in the ass” is the most insulting and inappropriate for polite conversation. Use these expressions with care!

In pop culture

Pain and Gain is a movie about a gang of bodybuilders who become kidnappers. The title is a play on the expression, “No pain, no gain.” Watch the trailer:

There are other meanings of pain.
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