Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To emit a sharp, vibrating sound, as the string of a musical instrument does when it is plucked.
  • intransitive verb To resound with a sharp, vibrating sound.
  • intransitive verb To speak in a strongly nasal tone of voice.
  • intransitive verb To cause to make a sharp, vibrating sound.
  • intransitive verb To utter with a strongly nasal tone of voice.
  • noun A sharp, vibrating sound, as that of a plucked string.
  • noun A strongly nasal tone of voice, especially as a peculiarity of certain regional dialects.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A sharp taste; a disagreeable after-taste or flavor left in the mouth; a tang; a flavor.
  • noun A sharp pull; a sudden pang, a twinge.
  • An exclamation or sound imitative of the twang of a bowstring, harpstring, etc.
  • To give out a sharp, metallic ring, as the string of a musical instrument, a bow, etc., when plucked and suddenly set free: said also of other instruments which make a similar sound.
  • To make music on a stringed instrument that is played by plucking or snapping; cause a sharp ringing sound like that of a harp or bowstring: as, to twang on a jews'-harp.
  • To have a nasal sound: said of the human voice; also, to speak with a nasal twang: said of persons.
  • To shoot with a bow; make a shot; hence, figuratively, to surmise; guess.
  • To cause to sound with a short sharp ring; set in quick, resounding vibration, as the tense string of a bow or a musical instrument that is played by plucking: said less frequently of wind-instruments.
  • To sound forth by means of a twanging instrument.
  • To utter with a short, sharp, or nasal sound; specifically, to pronounce with a nasal twang.
  • noun The sound of a tense string set in sudden sharp vibration by plucking; hence, any sharp, ringing musical sound.
  • noun A sharp, ringing nasal tone, especially of the human voice.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun rare A tang. See tang a state.
  • intransitive verb To sound with a quick, harsh noise; to make the sound of a tense string pulled and suddenly let go.
  • transitive verb To make to sound, as by pulling a tense string and letting it go suddenly.
  • noun A harsh, quick sound, like that made by a stretched string when pulled and suddenly let go.
  • noun An affected modulation of the voice; a kind of nasal sound.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An onomatopoeia for the sound of a vibrating string - e.g. of a bow, or a musical instrument.
  • noun A technical term for a particular sharp vibrating sound characteristic of electrical guitars.
  • noun A trace of regional or foreign accent in someone's voice.
  • noun A sound quality that appears in the human voice when the epilaryngeal tube is narrowed.
  • verb To produce a sharp vibrating sound.

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

  • verb sound with a twang
  • verb pluck (strings of an instrument)
  • verb pronounce with a nasal twang
  • verb twitch or throb with pain
  • noun a sharp vibrating sound (as of a plucked string)
  • noun exaggerated nasality in speech (as in some regional dialects)
  • verb cause to sound with a twang

Etymologies

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

[Imitative.]

Examples

  • 'Anna claims she has had no plastic surgery; we have the evidence that everything about her but her trademark Texas country twang is manufactured - breasts, lips, weight loss.'

    Archive 2007-02-11

  • She could distinguish, she said, a Northern twang from a Southern drawl, and she knew a great deal from vibrations, and also from her sense of smell, she could tell when a storm was coming.

    Helen Keller: A Life

  • It’ll be interesting to see how many affectations (e.g. loves of guns and NASCAR and a mountain twang) he’ll put on over the next year ….

    Waldo Jaquith - McAuliffe is a candidate now, for reals.

  • It is true that, on starting, we were still in Virginia, of which Wheeling is one of the largest towns; but the bulk of our fellow-passengers were evidently from the West; they are chiefly descendants of the New Englanders, and partake of their character, with the exception of the nasal twang, which is worse in New

    First Impressions of the New World On Two Travellers from the Old in the Autumn of 1858

  • Best described as the twang that rang throughout the world and originally performed by The Shadows in the sixties after Bert Lordan bashed it out on a ukulele, Apache has been defiled by jazz musicians as well as Moog-munting Danes.

    Computerworld

  • I've always used cream cheese as a binder for the filling as it produces a little "twang" at first bite.

    Sour cream chicken enchiladas recipe | Homesick Texan

  • I love Aquaman's snippy "But he still has that unbearable establishment 'twang' in his voice!" thought balloon on the last page.

    World's Finest #203 - June 1971

  • But I forgive Ms. Gregory this anachronism if only because she has rescued that lovely word "twang" — during a soccer match, a crossbar is hit "with such force that it twanged like a tuning fork" — from its doubtless impending oblivion.

    Houses Divided

  • I love Aquaman's snippy "But he still has that unbearable establishment 'twang' in his voice!" thought balloon on the last page.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • I also like how you used the word "twang" today in the bio.

    In Memorium: Harvey Korman

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