1 physical suffering or discomfort caused by illness or injury :
This is my pain. There are loads of pains, mine is physical.
On Good Friday, I had the worst seizure I’ve experienced from withdrawal of alcohol, on the way to the Off License. I nearly made it.
• a feeling of marked discomfort in a particular part of the body : I had severe pains in my ribs (broken), back, legs, arms, head, everywhere, stitches in bottom lip, which have just been taken out. I lost a front tooth.
• mental suffering or distress : not this week
• (also pain in the neck or vulgar slang pain in the ass) [in sing. ]
informal an annoying or tedious person or thing : no one (this week)
2 (pains) careful effort; great care or trouble: I took pains to fix my telly. I spent my whole week in the room, coming down just for meals and my art session with A. | I am at pains to make the effort to get out more.
for one’s pains
no pain, no gain suffering is necessary in order to achieve something. The only positive thing that came out of it was that I got de-toxed in hospital.
ORIGIN Middle English (in the sense [suffering inflicted as punishment for an offense]): from Old French peine, from Latin poena ‘penalty,’ later ‘pain.’
lack of physical comfort :
the discomforts of too many bruises and convulsions. The discomforts of loneliness.
• slight pain : I felt frustrated with discomforts all over my body.
• a state of mental unease; worry or embarrassment : being stuck in my room caused me discomfort.
verb [ trans. ]
make (someone) feel uneasy, anxious, or embarrassed
• [often as adj. ] ( discomforting) cause (someone) slight pain: My seizure had discomforting consequences.
ORIGIN Middle English (as a verb in the sense [dishearten, distress] ): from Old French desconforter (verb), desconfort (noun), from des- (expressing reversal) + conforter ‘to comfort’ (see comfort ).
USAGE On the difference between discomfort and discomfit, see usage at discomfit
the state of feeling bored : the boredom of isolation caused by my injuries and TV not working was depressing. I was lonely.
My room was my jail.
the state of being sober : the hospital stay and detox which started on Good Friday resulted in my sobriety. I don’t even think about it until people mention it, because I know the consequences. My Mum said she will come down to London and kill me if I drink again. I am not even tempted.
• the quality of being staid or solemn.
ORIGIN late Middle English : from Old French sobriete or Latin sobrietas, from sobrius (see sober ).
adjective ( -berer , -berest )
not affected by alcohol or drugs; not drunk.
• serious, sensible, and solemn : a sober view of life | his expression became sober.
• free from alcoholism; not habitually drinking alcohol: I’ve been clean and sober for 14 days.