1. A sharp, sudden physical pain. See Synonyms at pain.
2. A mental or emotional pain: a twinge of guilt.
v. twinged, twing·ing, twing·es
To feel or be the source of a twinge or twinges: My knee twinged as I stepped off the curb.
1. To cause to feel a twinge or twinges: His conscience twinged him.
2. Obsolete To tweak; pinch.
[From Middle English twengen, to pinch, from Old English twengan.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.