\ ˈpaŋ How to pronounce pang (audio) \

Definition of pang

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a brief piercing spasm of pain the pangs of childbirth
2 : a sharp attack of mental anguish pangs of remorse a pang of guilt a pang of disappointment


panged; panging; pangs

Definition of pang (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cause to have pangs : torment

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Synonyms for pang

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of pang in a Sentence

Noun those hunger pangs that strike you in the middle of the afternoon
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Amid the celebration, Edmonds felt a pang of heartache. Lindsay Schnell, USA TODAY, "NCAA put working moms in a pinch, making coaches' kids count against travel party restrictions to women's NCAA Tournament," 24 Mar. 2021 And sometimes those two funks blended together into an overpowering pang of life and death in which Dorothy experienced the smallness of her being knit into the large, incomprehensible whole of everything else. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, "The Depressive Realism of “The Life of the Mind”," 25 Feb. 2021 The pang lessened in late summer, when, in addition to surprising levels of humidity, Brooklyn, revealed a tropical surprise: Carnival in the form of the West Indian Day Parade, also known as the Labor Day Parade. Victoria Brown, Harper's BAZAAR, "I've Played Mas Across the Caribbean Diaspora. This Year Is Different.," 19 Feb. 2021 Love’s death is another pang for a neighborhood where shops and restaurants are already reeling from the shutdown caused by the novel coronavirus. Paul Schwartzman, Washington Post, "Goodbye, ‘Mr. Love’: A beloved barber’s final bow," 6 Sep. 2020 But now Mermelstein’s book, with its small, private exchanges, caught in extreme proximity, has brought back, with a pang, a time before this one. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "The Photographer Peeking at Your Phone," 3 Sep. 2020 On a recent visit to Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, David Dausey felt that familiar pang of parental duty: The father of two should snap a family photo and preserve this special moment for posterity. Andrea Sachs, Washington Post, "Should asking a stranger to take your photo go the way of the daguerreotype?," 3 Aug. 2020 My heart pangs at the thought of Thanksgiving without nuoc cham roasted carrots. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, "There Are Millions of Ways to Use Fish Sauce, Which is Great Because It Never Goes Bad," 25 Mar. 2020 Yet the country’s belated pangs of conscience have not induced any inclination to reapportion the spoils. Andrew J. Bacevich, Harper's Magazine, "The Old Normal," 27 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Its sonic trappings are in vogue, but thanks in large part to front-woman Fox Rodemich’s memorable voice, which pangs around the record like a cave bellow, there’s an outlying classic quality to these songs. Dylan Owens, The Know, "The week in local albums: Shady Elders, Otis Taylor and Gasoline Lollipops," 16 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pang.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pang


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1502, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pang


origin unknown

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Learn More about pang

Time Traveler for pang

Time Traveler

The first known use of pang was in the 15th century

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Statistics for pang

Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pang.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for pang



English Language Learners Definition of pang

: a sudden, strong feeling of physical or emotional pain


\ ˈpaŋ How to pronounce pang (audio) \

Kids Definition of pang

: a sudden sharp feeling of physical pain or emotion hunger pangs a pang or guilt


\ ˈpaŋ How to pronounce pang (audio) \

Medical Definition of pang

: a brief piercing spasm of pain — see birth pang, hunger pangs

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More from Merriam-Webster on pang

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pang

Nglish: Translation of pang for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pang for Arabic Speakers

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