pang

A pang is a sharp jab or an intense hurt that comes on suddenly. If you've felt an all-of-a-sudden, deep sadness that seems to hit you even in the back of the eyes, you've probably had a pang of emotion over a loss or a tragic story.

You can feel a physical pain or pang right when you get hurt, or you might suffer a pang of guilt that keeps popping up if you don't own up to something bad. Pang sounds close to pain, and it is pain, but it has a sharper edge — it's intense and comes on fast. A childbirth pain often is called a pang, because it's such a unique type of hurting. Having a pang of regret can be almost as sharp.

Definitions of pang
  1. noun
    a sudden sharp feeling
    pangs of regret”
    synonyms: stab, twinge
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    types:
    guilt pang
    pangs of feeling guilty
    type of:
    feeling
    the experiencing of affective and emotional states
  2. noun
    a sharp spasm of pain
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    types:
    birth pangs, labor pains, labour pains
    a regularly recurrent spasm of pain that is characteristic of childbirth
    afterpains
    pains felt by a woman after her baby is born; associated with contractions of the uterus
    type of:
    hurting, pain
    a symptom of some physical hurt or disorder
  3. noun
    a mental pain or distress
    “a pang of conscience”
    synonyms: sting
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    type of:
    hurting, pain
    a symptom of some physical hurt or disorder
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