27 Idioms for Pain


We often find solace in language to express our discomfort, and idioms play a significant role in conveying the intensity and nuances of pain.

In this article, we’ll explore idioms related to pain, decipher their meanings, and show you how they can be used in everyday conversations.

Whether you’ve experienced a pain in the neck or felt like biting the bullet, these idioms paint vivid pictures of suffering and resilience.

idioms for pain

What is an Idiom for Pain?

Idioms are phrases that go beyond the literal meanings of their individual words. When it comes to pain, idioms capture the essence of physical and emotional discomfort.


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Created by Dr. Julia Rossi

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What is a simile?

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Identify the simile in the following sentence: “She swims like a fish.”

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Which of the following is a metaphor?

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What does the idiom “break the ice” mean?

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Choose the adjective in the following sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

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“Out of the frying pan into the fire” is an example of:

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The abbreviation “NASA” stands for:

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“LOL” is an abbreviation for:

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Let’s delve into the meanings of common idioms related to pain and discover how they can be applied in various situations.

IdiomMeaningExample Sentence
In the Throes of AgonyExperiencing extreme physical or emotional pain.She was in the throes of agony when her beloved pet passed away.
A Pain in the NeckReferring to someone or something that is irritating or troublesome.Dealing with constant delays during the project was a real pain in the neck.
Cut to the BoneDescribing a remark or criticism that is very harsh or hurtful.Her comment about my performance cut to the bone, and it took a while to recover from it.
Twist the KnifeMaking a painful situation even more difficult or hurtful.Bringing up their breakup during the argument was like twisting the knife.
Sharp as a NeedleDescribing a pain that is sudden and intense.The injury caused a sharp as a needle pain, making him wince.
Stick in the CrawReferring to something that is hard to accept or digest.The unfair decision stuck in his craw, and he couldn’t stop thinking about it.
Bite the BulletFacing a difficult or unpleasant situation with courage and determination.Despite the pain, he decided to bite the bullet and undergo the surgery.
Pain Like a DaggerDescribing a pain that feels piercing and intense.The sudden loss of her friend felt like a dagger in her heart.
Hit Below the BeltReferring to an unfair or unethical action, especially in an argument or competition.Bringing up his personal problems during the debate was hitting below the belt.
Grin and Bear ItEnduring a difficult or painful situation with a smile or without complaining.Despite the pain, she tried to grin and bear it to avoid worrying her family.
Hurt Like HellDescribing a pain that is excruciating and unbearable.The toothache hurt like hell, and he needed immediate dental attention.
Break a LegA theatrical idiom used to wish someone good luck before a performance.Before the play, the actors wished each other, “Break a leg!”
Splitting HeadacheDescribing a severe and painful headache.After a long day of work, she had a splitting headache and needed rest.
Nailed ItAchieving something successfully or accurately.Her presentation was so well-prepared; she absolutely nailed it.
As Sore as a BoilDescribing extreme physical discomfort or soreness.After the intense workout, his muscles felt as sore as a boil.
Pain in the BacksideReferring to someone or something that is annoying or bothersome.Dealing with constant paperwork at the office can be a real pain in the backside.
Break One’s HeartReferring to something that causes extreme emotional pain or sorrow.The news of her friend’s passing truly broke her heart.
Suffering in SilenceEnduring pain or hardship without complaining or seeking help.He was suffering in silence, not wanting to burden his loved ones with his problems.
A Thorn in One’s SideReferring to something or someone that causes ongoing irritation or trouble.The constant noise from the construction site became a thorn in his side.
Have a Splitting PainExperiencing a severe and sharp pain, usually in the head.When the migraine hit, she had a splitting pain that made it impossible to work.
As Painful as a ToothacheDescribing something that is exceptionally painful or distressing.Going through a breakup can be as painful as a toothache, both emotionally and mentally.
Make One’s Blood BoilDescribing a situation or action that makes someone extremely angry.Hearing about the injustice in the news made his blood boil.
Aches and PainsReferring to minor physical discomforts or muscle soreness.After the long hike, he had aches and pains in his legs.
Pinch a NerveIrritate or annoy someone.Her constant complaints about the project began to pinch a nerve.
Have a Chip on One’s ShoulderCarrying a grudge or being easily provoked.He always seems to have a chip on his shoulder, ready for an argument.
Like a Dagger to the HeartDescribing an emotional pain that feels deeply hurtful.Her betrayal felt like a dagger to the heart, and he couldn’t trust anyone again.
Cry Over Spilled MilkWorrying or being upset about something that has already happened and cannot be changed.There’s no use crying over spilled milk; we need to move forward and find a solution.

Metaphors can convey the experience of pain, like comparing it to a relentless hammer that strikes the body with each heartbeat. To explore more metaphors for pain, you can visit this link: Metaphors for Pain. Similarly, similes offer comparisons that make pain more relatable, such as saying it’s as sharp as a knife cutting through the flesh. Discover additional similes for pain here: Similes for Pain.

Idioms for Pain

1. In the Throes of Agony

Meaning: Experiencing extreme physical or emotional pain.

In a Sentence: She was in the throes of agony when her beloved pet passed away.

2. A Pain in the Neck

Meaning: Referring to someone or something that is irritating or troublesome.

In a Sentence: Dealing with constant delays during the project was a real pain in the neck.

3. Cut to the Bone

Meaning: Describing a remark or criticism that is very harsh or hurtful.

In a Sentence: Her comment about my performance cut to the bone, and it took a while to recover from it.

4. Twist the Knife

Meaning: Making a painful situation even more difficult or hurtful.

In a Sentence: Bringing up their breakup during the argument was like twisting the knife.

5. Sharp as a Needle

Meaning: Describing a pain that is sudden and intense.

In a Sentence: The injury caused a sharp as a needle pain, making him wince.

6. Stick in the Craw

Meaning: Referring to something that is hard to accept or digest.

In a Sentence: The unfair decision stuck in his craw, and he couldn’t stop thinking about it.

7. Bite the Bullet

Meaning: Facing a difficult or unpleasant situation with courage and determination.

In a Sentence: Despite the pain, he decided to bite the bullet and undergo the surgery.

8. Pain Like a Dagger

Meaning: Describing a pain that feels piercing and intense.

In a Sentence: The sudden loss of her friend felt like a dagger in her heart.

9. Hit Below the Belt

Meaning: Referring to an unfair or unethical action, especially in an argument or competition.

In a Sentence: Bringing up his personal problems during the debate was hitting below the belt.

10. Grin and Bear It

Meaning: Enduring a difficult or painful situation with a smile or without complaining.

In a Sentence: Despite the pain, she tried to grin and bear it to avoid worrying her family.

11. Hurt Like Hell

Meaning: Describing a pain that is excruciating and unbearable.

In a Sentence: The toothache hurt like hell, and he needed immediate dental attention.

12. Break a Leg

Meaning: A theatrical idiom used to wish someone good luck before a performance.

In a Sentence: Before the play, the actors wished each other, “Break a leg!”

13. Splitting Headache

Meaning: Describing a severe and painful headache.

In a Sentence: After a long day of work, she had a splitting headache and needed rest.

14. Nailed It

Meaning: Achieving something successfully or accurately.

In a Sentence: Her presentation was so well-prepared; she absolutely nailed it.

15. As Sore as a Boil

Meaning: Describing extreme physical discomfort or soreness.

In a Sentence: After the intense workout, his muscles felt as sore as a boil.

16. Pain in the Backside

Meaning: Referring to someone or something that is annoying or bothersome.

In a Sentence: Dealing with constant paperwork at the office can be a real pain in the backside.

17. Break One’s Heart

Meaning: Referring to something that causes extreme emotional pain or sorrow.

In a Sentence: The news of her friend’s passing truly broke her heart.

18. Suffering in Silence

Meaning: Enduring pain or hardship without complaining or seeking help.

In a Sentence: He was suffering in silence, not wanting to burden his loved ones with his problems.

19. A Thorn in One’s Side

Meaning: Referring to something or someone that causes ongoing irritation or trouble.

In a Sentence: The constant noise from the construction site became a thorn in his side.

20. Have a Splitting Pain

Meaning: Experiencing a severe and sharp pain, usually in the head.

In a Sentence: When the migraine hit, she had a splitting pain that made it impossible to work.

21. As Painful as a Toothache

Meaning: Describing something that is exceptionally painful or distressing.

In a Sentence: Going through a breakup can be as painful as a toothache, both emotionally and mentally.

22. Make One’s Blood Boil

Meaning: Describing a situation or action that makes someone extremely angry.

In a Sentence: Hearing about the injustice in the news made his blood boil.

23. Aches and Pains

Meaning: Referring to minor physical discomforts or muscle soreness.

In a Sentence: After the long hike, he had aches and pains in his legs.

24. Pinch a Nerve

Meaning: Irritate or annoy someone.

In a Sentence: Her constant complaints about the project began to pinch a nerve.

25. Have a Chip on One’s Shoulder

Meaning: Carrying a grudge or being easily provoked.

In a Sentence: He always seems to have a chip on his shoulder, ready for an argument.

26. Like a Dagger to the Heart

Meaning: Describing an emotional pain that feels deeply hurtful.

In a Sentence: Her betrayal felt like a dagger to the heart, and he couldn’t trust anyone again.

27. Cry Over Spilled Milk

Meaning: Worrying or being upset about something that has already happened and cannot be changed.

In a Sentence: There’s no use crying over spilled milk; we need to move forward and find a solution.

10 Quizzes About The Idiom in The Article

Quiz 1: Pain Idioms – What’s the Meaning?

Question 1: What does the idiom “Twist the Knife” mean?

  • A) Experiencing extreme pain.
  • B) Making a painful situation even more difficult or hurtful.
  • C) Enduring pain with a smile.

Answer: B) Making a painful situation even more difficult or hurtful.


Quiz 2: Pain Idioms – Fill in the Blank

Question 2: If someone has “A Pain in the Backside,” it means they are ___________.

Answer: annoying or bothersome.


Quiz 3: Pain Idioms – True or False

Question 3: “Break a Leg” is an idiom for wishing someone good luck. (True/False)

Answer: True


Quiz 4: Pain Idioms – Completing the Sentence

Question 4: When you “Bite the Bullet,” you are facing a difficult situation with _______.

Answer: courage and determination.


Quiz 5: Pain Idioms – Match the Meaning

Question 5: Match the idiom to its meaning:
Idiom: “Cut to the Bone”
Meaning: Describing a remark or criticism that is very harsh or hurtful.

Answer: Matching Meaning – “Cut to the Bone”


Quiz 6: Pain Idioms – What’s the Opposite?

Question 6: What’s the opposite of “Suffering in Silence”?

  • A) Enduring pain without complaining.
  • B) Seeking help and sharing your problems.
  • C) Enduring pain with a smile.

Answer: B) Seeking help and sharing your problems.


Quiz 7: Pain Idioms – True or False

Question 7: “Like a Dagger to the Heart” describes a physical pain. (True/False)

Answer: False


Quiz 8: Pain Idioms – Finish the Sentence

Question 8: “In the Throes of Agony” means experiencing _______.

Answer: extreme physical or emotional pain.


Quiz 9: Pain Idioms – What’s the Meaning?

Question 9: What does the idiom “Hit Below the Belt” mean?

  • A) Making a painful situation even more difficult.
  • B) Referring to something irritating.
  • C) Engaging in an unfair action, especially in an argument.

Answer: C) Engaging in an unfair action, especially in an argument.


Quiz 10: Pain Idioms – Completing the Sentence

Question 10: “A Pain in the Neck” refers to someone or something that is _______.

Answer: irritating or troublesome.

Conclusion

These idioms for pain provide us with a colorful and expressive way to talk about discomfort, both physical and emotional. They help us convey the intensity of our experiences and empathize with others who may be going through challenging times.

Cite this entry:

Phrasesdirectory.com. “,” Retrieved from Phrases Directory – Accessed

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