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1540s, "a pinch," from obsolete verb twinge "to pinch, tweak," from Old English twengan "to pinch," of uncertain origin. Meaning "sharp, sudden pain" is recorded from c.1600. Figurative sense (with reference to shame, remorse, etc.) is recorded from 1620s.
A sharp, sudden physical pain. v. twinged, twing·ing, twing·es
To cause to feel a sharp pain.