AskDefine | Define ache

Dictionary Definition

ache n : a dull persistent (usually moderately intense) pain [syn: aching]


1 feel physical pain; "Were you hurting after the accident?" [syn: hurt, suffer]
2 have a desire for something or someone who is not present; "She ached for a cigarette"; "I am pining for my lover" [syn: yearn, yen, pine, languish]
3 be the source of pain [syn: smart, hurt]

User Contributed Dictionary


Etymology 1

From Old (and modern) French ache, from Latin apium, parsley.


    • , /eɪtʃ/, /eItS/
    • Rhymes with: -eɪtʃ


  1. Parsley.

Etymology 2

Old English acan (verb), from æċe (noun), from West Germanic. The verb was originally strong, declining like take etc., but has taken weak endings since Middle English. Historically the verb was spelled ake, until Dr Johnson mistakenly derived it from Ancient Greek , pain.


    • , /eɪk/, /eIk/
    • Rhymes with: -eɪk


  1. To suffer pain; to be the source of, or be in, pain, especially continued dull pain; to be distressed.
    • Fie, how my bones ache! - Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, II-v
    • The sins that in your conscience ache. — Keble
Derived terms
be distressed
  • Finnish: särkeä, jomottaa
  • Japanese: 痛む (itamu)
  • Portuguese: doer
  • Spanish: doler
  • Turkish: ağrımak, acımak


  1. Continued dull pain, as distinguished from sudden twinges, or spasmodic pain.
    • Fill all thy bones with aches - Shakespeare, Tempest, I-ii
    Note: Often used in composition, as, a headache, an earache, a toothache
dull pain


  • Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition.

Etymology 3

Representing the pronunciation of the letter H.


  1. A variant spelling of aitch.


Extensive Definition

Ache may refer to:

See also

ache in Dutch: Ache

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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