Anything that's aching is sore and painful. After a hike up the side of a steep mountain or a long day walking around a city, you'll want to rest your aching feet.

To ache is to feel a dull, constant pain, and aching things ache. Both words stem from the Old English acan, "suffer pain," from a Proto-Indo-European root that might be imitative of a groaning sound, the kind of noise you may make when you have an aching head or an aching tooth. Things are sometimes described as aching in a figurative way, too, when they're full of sorrow, like an aching heart or an aching loneliness.

Definitions of aching

adj causing a dull and steady pain

“my aching head”
causing physical or psychological pain

n a dull persistent (usually moderately intense) pain

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odontalgia, toothache
an ache localized in or around a tooth
an ache localized in the back
cephalalgia, head ache, headache
pain in the head caused by dilation of cerebral arteries or muscle contractions or a reaction to drugs
bellyache, gastralgia, stomach ache, stomachache
an ache localized in the stomach or abdominal region
earache, otalgia
an ache localized in the middle or inner ear
pain in the teeth that results from a change in air pressure (as in flying or mountain climbing)
cluster headache, histamine headache
a painful recurring headache associated with the release of histamine from cells
hemicrania, megrim, migraine, sick headache
a severe recurring vascular headache; occurs more frequently in women than men
sick headache
a headache accompanied by nausea
sinus headache
a headache resulting from congestion or infection in the paranasal sinuses
tension headache
a headache located at the back of the head; usually caused by body tension resulting from overwork or psychological stress
lumbago, lumbar pain
backache affecting the lumbar region or lower back; can be caused by muscle strain or arthritis or vascular insufficiency or a ruptured intervertebral disc
Type of:
hurting, pain
a symptom of some physical hurt or disorder

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