\ 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

ache, pain, prick, shoot, smart, sting, stitch, throe, tingle, twinge

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Examples of pang in a Sentence


those hunger pangs that strike you in the middle of the afternoon

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There is, and children ages 3-5 may feel an empathetic pang at the surprise ending that answers the question in this witty, wordless picture book. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: James Baldwin’s Tale of Childhood in Harlem," 23 Aug. 2018 Before a long weekend away, any responsible owner will feel pangs of worry about a homebound dog or cat. Fox News, "10 smart devices you never knew about before now," 12 Sep. 2018 Duncan, for all of his unparalleled excellence, was prone to occasional pangs of self-doubt. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, "Parker’s pride drove Spurs until the end," 6 July 2018 As is always the case with awards nominations, for every happy person who received an Emmy nomination Thursday morning, several others probably suffered a few pangs of disappointment. Cary Darling, Houston Chronicle, "Here's who got snubbed at the Emmy nominations," 12 July 2018 But besides low white blood cell counts and some serious hunger pangs, they were all said to be in good health. J. Weston Phippen, Outside Online, "The Daring Rescue that Saved the Thai Soccer Team," 10 July 2018 The next generation of Deans—16 cousins, including me—is united by the same anticipation and grief that our parents felt in the station wagon, those pangs of summer’s looming end. Pat Cunnane, WSJ, "Goodbye to Summer, Just as It Begins," 5 July 2018 The combination is sublime and satisfies a pang for comfort food., "George’s Coney Island turns 100," 26 June 2018 So smoothly did the Calidore handle transitional moments that all of its eerie reveries, pangs, and mysteries flowed into a single current toward final ethereal resignation. Peter Dobrin,, "Calidore String Quartet makes gorgeous Philadelphia debut in Caroline Shaw works," 14 May 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near pang








Statistics for pang

Last Updated

24 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pang

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

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pang

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pang

Spanish Central: Translation of pang

Nglish: Translation of pang for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pang for Arabic Speakers

Comments on pang

What made you want to look up pang? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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