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discomfort definition


This page has 4 definitions of discomfort in English. Discomfort is a noun and verb. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .



From Middle English discomforten, from Anglo-Norman descomforter.



discomfort (countable and uncountable, plural discomforts)

  1. Mental or bodily distress.
    • 1946 November and December, “Additional London-Dartford Services”, in Railway Magazine, page 386:
      [] although overcrowding on the trains running via London Bridge has occasioned considerable discomfort to regular travellers, it was noticed that the alternative route was not extensively patronised, and that the trains were seldom more than half-filled.
    • 1961 February, Cecil J. Allen, “Locomotive Running Past and Present”, in Trains Illustrated, page 86:
      The Western operating authorities are wisely concentrating their main line diesel power at individual sheds, beginning with Laira, so that engine-crews do not have the rather demoralising experience of switching about constantly between the comfort and ease of diesel handling and the relative discomfort and hard work of the steam footplate, as on other Regions.
  2. Something that disturbs one’s comfort; an annoyance.
    • 2013 June 29, “Travels and travails”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 55:
      Even without hovering drones, a lurking assassin, a thumping score and a denouement, the real-life story of Edward Snowden, a rogue spy on the run, could be straight out of the cinema. But, as with Hollywood, the subplots and exotic locations may distract from the real message: America’s discomfort and its foes’ glee.
    • 2016 October 22, Rami G Khouri, “Lebanese oligarchy preserves its interests once again”, in Aljazeera[1]:
      This happened in the past several years, and it worsened conditions in sectors such as foreign debt, electricity output, rubbish collection, water delivery, and other essential services, to the discomfort of the majority of Lebanese who have spoken out intermittently against the oligarchy of sectarian leaders who rule the country.

Derived terms


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discomfort (third-person singular simple present discomforts, present participle discomforting, simple past and past participle discomforted)

  1. To cause annoyance or distress to.
  2. (obsolete) To discourage; to deject.

Usage notes

As a verb, the unrelated term discomfit is often used instead, largely interchangeably, though this is proscribed by some as an error, discomfit originally meaning “destroy”, not “distress”.

Derived terms

See also