\ 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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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 If you were pissed or outraged at Trump before Thursday night, that anger has likely not dissipated between then and now; it’s just been briefly abetted by either a sliver of schadenfreude or a pang of guilt. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "You Don’t Have to Pray for Trump," 2 Oct. 2020 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 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 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 Maggie Shannon for The New York Times Watching my 3-year-old become a geography expert over the last few weeks has taken my mom guilt from an occasional pang to a chronic panic attack. Lucy Rimalower, New York Times, "Is Quarantine Worse for an Only Child?," 10 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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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

14 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pang.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for pang


How to pronounce pang (audio)

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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