Definition of twinge in English:



  • 1A sudden, sharp localized pain:

    ‘he felt a twinge in his knee’
    • ‘While he was thinking of a way to entertain himself, he suddenly felt a small twinge of pain in his head.’
    • ‘Lee laughed aloud, and then held his side, as the laughter caused his side to flare in a sharp twinge of pain.’
    • ‘She wriggled off the windowsill and scrambled onto the stone wall, ignoring the twinges of pain in her damaged wrist.’
    • ‘His battered stomach muscles - constricted from lack of use - sent a sharp twinge of pain skittering across his abdomen.’
    • ‘For example, if someone is suffering from arthritis in the knees, they will feel a sharp twinge, rather like a needle, when the machine sends a charge to the corresponding point on their ear.’
    • ‘Shortly after the three of us set upon his dorm room to dismantle it, a small but sharp twinge of pain registered just under my left kneecap.’
    • ‘He took some time to examine the still-healing wound on her leg that still gave her twinges of pain when pressed.’
    • ‘It was during Juliet rehearsals in 1955 that Rodgers felt twinges of pain in his left jaw.’
    • ‘Then at 65m, far out in front of the field, a sudden twinge tickles his thigh.’
    • ‘By midday the pains had gone from sharp twinges every 5 minutes or so to a constant, agonising pain (Which the Dr at the hospital told me were contractions as my cervix had to open up).’
    • ‘The side of my face gave a sharp twinge of pain, but I pushed that aside.’
    • ‘The sharp twinge of pain combined with suddenly rising to his feet must have induced a vasovagal attack.’
    • ‘Then as I began to relax and almost enjoy myself, the twinges and pains started.’
    • ‘She takes a fiber supplement when she feels the early twinges of abdominal pain.’
    • ‘A sharp twinge of pain caused him to take in a hissing breath in an effort to resist temptation of crying out as she found the spot.’
    • ‘I lay there with slight twinges of pain racing up and down my ribs, neck, face and realized that the house was completely silent.’
    • ‘But as she discovered a lot of the aching and twinges of sharp pain had gone, giving her some relief as she moved and walked.’
    • ‘A sharp twinge of agony shot up her left arm, reaching her shoulder and spreading through her entire chest.’
    • ‘Halfway through the day I turned my head and felt a sudden twinge of pain.’
    • ‘He was extremely gentle with her, and she felt only the smallest twinges of pain as he carried her up the grand stairs towards her rooms.’
    pain, sharp pain, shooting pain, stab of pain, spasm, ache, throb
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    1. 1.1 A brief experience of an emotion, typically an unpleasant one:
      ‘Kate felt a twinge of guilt’
      • ‘A twinge of disappointment colored her happiness as she remembered her parents wouldn't be sharing in that wonderful moment.’
      • ‘I look forward to her future with uncertainty, I look to her past with a twinge of nostalgia.’
      • ‘She felt a twinge of jealousy wondering if he was the same way with Mia and she couldn't help but long for a man like Blake.’
      • ‘The first time I read this, I felt a twinge of panic.’
      • ‘As Gretchen elaborated, Ikiri felt a surge of anger, jealousy, and a twinge of loss.’
      • ‘The plane stopped off in Thailand, when I suddenly became overwhelmed with a wave of curiosity and maybe just a twinge of compassion.’
      • ‘They have made even the hardest-hearted of us feel a twinge of pity where few of us expected to find one.’
      • ‘Lauren smiled at her friend and felt a twinge of jealousy at the same time.’
      • ‘Still not experiencing a twinge of fear, she eyed the man up and down.’
      • ‘McConnell could be forgiven for feeling a twinge of envy.’
      • ‘If you are now experiencing a twinge of embarrassment, it is probably because of a costly error of judgement in relating to somebody from the opposite sex.’
      • ‘I'm sure of only one thing: that I don't trust anyone - pro or con - who doesn't feel a twinge of doubt about his or her responses.’
      • ‘I snapped my attention back to my friends and felt a twinge of annoyance after hearing Drew's speech.’
      • ‘I felt a twinge of anxiety when I first moved to Manhattan.’
      • ‘Rebecca experienced a brief twinge of embarrassment as she wondered just what her children had seen if anything.’
      • ‘Then we began hugging everyone in sight but still we all were feeling a twinge of sadness being unable to hug all our friends and family back home.’
      • ‘No matter how much we all like to pretend we've grown out of Christmas, there is still a twinge of excitement associated with the unwrapping of any present.’
      • ‘The thought brought fear and a twinge of panic as Christopher scrubbed at his scalp.’
      • ‘Naturally, I'll experience a twinge of envy as employed friends brag about their party excesses.’
      • ‘I felt a twinge of jealousy and anger, I rarely got jealous over things mostly because half the time I didn't care.’
      pang, prick, dart
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  • (of a part of the body) suffer a sudden, sharp localized pain:

    ‘stop the exercises if the tummy twinges’
    • ‘Leaning back in the seat of the car, Matt was happy to let Kate do all the driving; his leg was still twinging from the cut inflicted on it earlier.’
    • ‘Her back twinged with pain, she didn't want to do anything right now.’
    • ‘He picked his bruised body gingerly off the floor, cursing as his abused hands twinged with pain.’
    • ‘A nerve suddenly twinged in her chest, and without a second thought, she shot for the surface of the pool, suddenly afraid.’
    • ‘It twinged, it stabbed, and it sliced through his nerves.’
    • ‘My stomach twinged in protest as I thought of the girls in the hallway, and I hoped to head off a stomachache with sleep.’
    • ‘Deran had broken his left arm twice, himself; he hardly noticed when it twinged with bad weather.’
    • ‘Every nerve was twinging with resolve to end it.’
    • ‘He woke to a rap on the door and a flood of sunlight that caused his forehead to twinge in pain.’
    • ‘His stomach twinged violently and he wretched upon the walkway.’
    • ‘Her father had died almost seven years ago now and her heart still twinged whenever the door opened and he wasn't there to greet her.’
    • ‘She slung the bookbag over one shoulder, which twinged.’
    • ‘As soon as his right leg hit the ground, his knee twinged with pain.’
    • ‘His entire body ached, with the remnants of aches all over, twinging his musculature here and there.’
    • ‘Her heart twinged again, but she ignored it and stalked toward the window.’
    • ‘Jinx caught himself with his hands before he fell for the fourth time in ten minutes, swallowing the wince as his aching wrist twinged.’
    • ‘She rolled over onto her back and stretched, feeling the muscles in her arms and legs twinge in pain.’
    • ‘The way he said Aiden twinged a nerve but I kept ignoring him.’
    • ‘If Matt's jaw hadn't been twinging from the cut, it would have dropped.’
    • ‘My ribs barely twinged, even at the quick change in my position.’


Old English twengan ‘pinch, wring’, of Germanic origin. The noun dates from the mid 16th century.