Definition of twinge in US English:



  • 1A sudden, sharp localized pain.

    ‘he felt a twinge in his knee’
    • ‘She wriggled off the windowsill and scrambled onto the stone wall, ignoring the twinges of pain in her damaged wrist.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He took some time to examine the still-healing wound on her leg that still gave her twinges of pain when pressed.’
    • ‘While he was thinking of a way to entertain himself, he suddenly felt a small twinge of pain in his head.’
    • ‘Then as I began to relax and almost enjoy myself, the twinges and pains started.’
    • ‘The sharp twinge of pain combined with suddenly rising to his feet must have induced a vasovagal attack.’
    • ‘Lee laughed aloud, and then held his side, as the laughter caused his side to flare in a sharp twinge of pain.’
    • ‘She takes a fiber supplement when she feels the early twinges of abdominal pain.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Then at 65m, far out in front of the field, a sudden twinge tickles his thigh.’
    • ‘His battered stomach muscles - constricted from lack of use - sent a sharp twinge of pain skittering across his abdomen.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A sharp twinge of agony shot up her left arm, reaching her shoulder and spreading through her entire chest.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was during Juliet rehearsals in 1955 that Rodgers felt twinges of pain in his left jaw.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Halfway through the day I turned my head and felt a sudden twinge of pain.’
    • ‘The side of my face gave a sharp twinge of pain, but I pushed that aside.’
    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.’
      • ‘McConnell could be forgiven for feeling a twinge of envy.’
      • ‘The thought brought fear and a twinge of panic as Christopher scrubbed at his scalp.’
      • ‘The plane stopped off in Thailand, when I suddenly became overwhelmed with a wave of curiosity and maybe just a twinge of compassion.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Still not experiencing a twinge of fear, she eyed the man up and down.’
      • ‘Rebecca experienced a brief twinge of embarrassment as she wondered just what her children had seen if anything.’
      • ‘I look forward to her future with uncertainty, I look to her past with a twinge of nostalgia.’
      • ‘Naturally, I'll experience a twinge of envy as employed friends brag about their party excesses.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The first time I read this, I felt a twinge of panic.’
      • ‘Lauren smiled at her friend and felt a twinge of jealousy at the same time.’
      • ‘They have made even the hardest-hearted of us feel a twinge of pity where few of us expected to find one.’
      • ‘As Gretchen elaborated, Ikiri felt a surge of anger, jealousy, and a twinge of loss.’
      • ‘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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[no object]
  • (of a part of the body) suffer a sudden, sharp localized pain.

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


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