v. hurt, hurt·ing, hurts
a. To cause physical damage or pain to (an individual or a body part); injure: The fall hurt his back.
b. To experience injury or pain to or in (an individual or a body part): I hurt my knee skiing.
2. To cause mental or emotional suffering to; distress: The remark hurt his feelings.
3. To cause physical damage to (something); harm: The frost hurt the orange crop.
4. To be detrimental to; hinder or impair: The scandal hurt the candidate's chances for victory.
1. To have or produce a feeling of physical pain or discomfort: My leg hurts.
a. To cause distress or damage: Parental neglect hurts.
b. To have an adverse effect: “It never hurt to have a friend at court” (Tom Clancy).
3. Informal To experience distress, especially of a financial kind; be in need: “Even in a business that's hurting there's always a guy who can make a buck” (New York).
1. Something that hurts; a pain, injury, or wound.
2. Mental suffering; anguish: getting over the hurt of reading the letter.
3. A wrong; harm: What hurt have you done to them?
[Middle English hurten, possibly from Old French hurter, to bang into, probably originally “to butt like a ram” and from Frankish *hūrt, ram (male sheep); perhaps akin to Old Norse hrútr, ram, from Germanic *hrūtaz, possibly meaning “the horned one”; see ker-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots. Alternatively Germanic *hrūtaz, possibly meaning “the snorter, the noisy one” and akin to Old Norse hrjóta, to snore, and Old English hrūtan, to snore, make a loud noise.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.