Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
1. To feel a strong desire for someone or something. She ached for the companionship of her husband when he was deployed overseas.
2. To feel sadness and/or empathy for someone. I ache for those little children who just lost their parents in a car accident.
1. To feel a strong desire for someone or something. She hurt for the companionship of her husband when he was deployed overseas.
2. To feel sadness and/or empathy for someone. I hurt for those little children who just lost their parents in a car accident.
(it) doesn't hurt to ask
A phrase of encouragement when one is nervous about asking a particular question. A: "Do you think he would give me a better deal on this car?" B: "Well, it doesn't hurt to ask."
(it) never hurts to ask
A phrase of encouragement when one is apprehensive about asking a particular question. A: "Do you think he would give me a better deal on this car?" B: "Well, it never hurts to ask."
cry before (one) is hurt
To bemoan something before it happens. Stop crying before you're hurt—wait and see how she treats you at the birthday party.
don't cry before you are hurt
Don't become upset about something until it actually happens. I know you're worried that you did poorly on your exams, but don't cry before you are hurt.
hit (one) where it hurts (most)
To attack one in the area that is most vulnerable or that will result in the most harm. Usually does not refer to physical violence. By questioning his parenting, Gina hit ken where it hurt most. The best way to take down the cartel is to hit them where it hurts most—in their bank accounts.
it doesn't hurt to (have or do something)
It is or may be good, pragmatic, or beneficial to have or do something. (Also used in the forms "wouldn't hurt," "couldn't hurt," and "can't hurt.") I get that you like doing things your own way, but it doesn't hurt to have a helping hand now and then. I know that the managers are trying to cut costs, but it wouldn't hurt to treat the staff to lunch now and then.
what you don't know won't hurt you
Remaining ignorant or uninformed about something will allow you to not have the sense of responsibility to worry or think about it. A: "Where are you going?" B: "It's better that you stay in the dark about this. What you don't know won't hurt you."
not hurt a fly
To be particularly gentle, shy, diffident, or timid by nature. My brother is a very sweet, warm-hearted man who wouldn't hurt a fly. How can you suspect him of committing this crime?
sticks and stones may break my bones (but words will never hurt me)
A common childhood chant meaning hurtful words cannot cause any physical pain and thus will be ignored or disregarded. I've never taken people's criticism to heart; sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
ache for someone or somethingand hurt for someone or something
Fig. to desire someone or something very much. (So much that it "hurts.") Jim ached for the sight of Mary, whom he loved deeply.
cry before one is hurt
Fig. to cry or complain needlessly, before one is injured. Bill always cries before he's hurt. There is no point in crying before one is hurt.
Don't cry before you are hurt.
Prov. Do not be upset about a bad thing that might happen; only be upset when something bad really does happen. Fred: What am I going to do? There's a possibility that my job will be eliminated! Jane: Don't cry before you are hurt. They haven't eliminated you yet.
hurt someone's feelings
to cause someone emotional pain. It hurts my feelings when you talk that way. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings.
(It) doesn't hurt to ask. and (It) never hurts to ask.
a phrase said when one asks a question, even when the answer is known to be no. John: Can I take some of these papers home with me? Jane: No, you can't. You know that. John: Well, it doesn't hurt to ask. Sue: Can I have two of these? Sally: Certainly not! Sue: Well, it never hurts to ask. Sally: Well, it just may!
little (hard) work never hurt anyoneand little (hard) work never killed anyone
Prov. One should expect to do hard or difficult work and not avoid doing it. Go help your father with the yard work. A little hard work never hurt anyone. Go ahead. Bring me some more bricks. A little work never killed anyone.
not hurt a flea
Fig. not to harm anything or anyone, even a tiny insect. (Also with other forms of negation.) Ted would not even hurt a flea. He could not have struck Bill. Ted would never hurt a flea, and he would not hit anyone as you claim.
sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me
Prov. You do not hurt me by calling me names. (A reply to someone who has called you names. Primarily used by children; sounds childish when used by adults.) Brother: You're stupid and mean, and everybody hates you! Sister: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
what one doesn't know won't hurt one
Cliché Unknown facts cannot worry or upset a person. Don't tell me that I have made a mistake. What I don't know won't hurt me. Don't tell him the truth about his missing dog. What he doesn't know won't hurt him.
What you don't know won't hurt you.and What you don't know can't hurt you.
Prov. If you do not know about a problem or a misdeed, you will not be able to make yourself unhappy by worrying about it. (Often used to justify not telling someone about a problem or misdeed.) Ellen: What a beautiful diamond necklace! Thank you! But how on earth did you get the money to pay for it? Fred: What you don't know won't hurt you.
not hurt a fly
Also, not hurt a flea. Not cause harm to anyone, be gentle and mild, as in Paul's the kindest man-he wouldn't hurt a flea, or Bert has a temper but it's all talk; he wouldn't hurt a fly. Both fly and flea are used in the sense of "a small insignificant animal." [Early 1800s]
wouldn't hurt a flyor
wouldn't harm a fly
If someone wouldn't hurt a fly or wouldn't harm a fly, they are very kind and gentle. She was such a lovely girl, who wouldn't have hurt a fly. He is, he insists, a pacifist, who would not harm a fly.
wouldn't hurt (or harm) a flyused to emphasize how inoffensive and harmless a person or animal is.
he, she, etc. wouldn’t harm/hurt a ˈflyhe, she, etc. is kind and gentle, and would not hurt anyone: The dog may look very fierce, but he wouldn’t hurt a fly.
hit somebody where it ˈhurtsaffect somebody where they will feel it most: After four years of marriage, she really knows how to hit him where it hurts, and isn’t afraid to do it either.
it won’t/wouldn’t ˈhurt somebody to do somethingit will/would be better for somebody to do something; it would be a good idea for somebody to do something: It wouldn’t hurt her to walk instead of going in the car all the time.
1. mod. very ugly; damaged and ugly. (Streets. Similar to hurting.) That poor girl is really bad hurt.
2. mod. drug intoxicated. (Streets.) Gert was really hurt and nodding and drooling.
hurt for someone/something
in. to long after someone or something; to need someone or something. I sure am hurting for a nice big steak.
1. mod. very ugly; in pain from ugliness. (Similar to hurt.) That dog of yours is something to behold. It’s really hurting.
2. mod. seriously in need of something, such as a dose of drugs. (Drugs.) Gert is hurting. She needs something soon.