Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A sudden sharp spasm of pain. See Synonyms at pain.
  • n. A sudden sharp feeling of emotional distress.
  • transitive v. To cause to feel pangs; distress acutely.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. paroxysm of extreme physical pain or anguish; sudden and transitory agony;throe
  • n. A sharp, sudden feeling of a mental or emotional nature, as of joy or sorrow
  • v. to torment; to torture; to cause to have great pain or suffering

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A paroxysm of extreme pain or anguish; a sudden and transitory agony; a throe.
  • transitive v. To torture; to cause to have great pain or suffering; to torment.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cause to suffer a pang or pangs; pain; torture.
  • To press; cram, in any way; cram with food.
  • n. A sudden paroxysm of pain; a transitory or recurring attack of agony; an acute painful spasm; a throe; hence, a sudden and bitter sentiment of sorrow, disappointment, injury, etc.
  • n. Synonyms Anguish, Torture, etc. (see agony), twinge, gripe, ache, suffering.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a sharp spasm of pain
  • n. a mental pain or distress
  • n. a sudden sharp feeling

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English *pange, an altered form of prange, pronge ("pang, throe, stab etc.") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The pang is over, his sufferings are at an end for ever.

    Chapter 7

  • I tried to sway her by employing a string of Chinese proverbs, the expression pang guang zhe qing, or “the bystander sees more clearly” being a case in point.

    Archive 2009-05-29

  • Julia felt a certain pang at the thought of judgment being passed so lightly upon all those months or years of hard authorial labour.

    Books and Television « So Many Books

  • That grief – the one great grief of their life, had come to her more wholesomely than to her husband: either because men, the very best of men, can only suffer, while women can endure; or because in the mysterious ordinance of nature Maud's baby lips had sucked away the bitterness of the pang from the bereaved mother, while her loss was yet new.

    John Halifax, Gentleman

  • Destruction waits on all who would steal one pang from the racked heart of William Wallace!

    The Scottish Chiefs

  • Its pang is short-lived, and the face of the field-cornet soon lightens up again as he looks around upon his dear children, so full of hope and promise.

    Popular Adventure Tales

  • It gave him, he said in Parliament, a deep pang; and, as he uttered the word pang, his lip quivered, his voice shook, he paused, and his hearers thought that he was about to burst into tears.

    Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches — Volume 3

  • "I do not fear to die," she said; "that pang is past.

    Chapter 8

  • A pang is a paroxysm of extreme pain or anguish; a sudden and transitory agony; a throe; as, the pangs of death.

    Superexistentialism « Jahsonic

  • I have just been contending with a severe pang, that is now gone off; what effect its return may have, God only knows.

    Pamela

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Comments

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  • This is the word used for a gunshot in my German translation of a Tin Tin story (Der blaue Lotos).

    April 8, 2008