1 of 2


: a sharp sound like that of a striking bullet
: the pulse of sound waves reflected from or emitted by a submerged object in submarine signaling or detection and heard by special apparatus
Baylor … trained his sound unit from one bearing to another, listening for submarines. It threw out a directional sound beam, a series of "pings." These pings, if they hit a solid object like a submarine, reflected back to the operator.William J. Lederer
: a signal sent from one computer to another across a network for usually diagnostic purposes (as to determine network speed or the status of the target computer)
With Napster, however, all you have to do is type in the name of the song or artist and up will pop 2,745 Phish songs sorted by the host computer's type of modem connection and ping rate.Karl Taro Greenfeld


2 of 2


pinged; pinging; pings

intransitive verb

: to make a ping
: to ricochet with a ping
gravel pinging off … the carMargaret Atwood

transitive verb

: to cause to ping
ping a bell
: to locate (something, such as a submerged object or submarine) by detecting the reflection of a pulse of sound waves : to send out a ping (see ping entry 1 sense 3) in order to locate (something)
We will have to follow this big old boy on the surface and then try to ping him with the sonar when he dives.Corwin Ericson
: to send a signal to (a computer) in order to determine its status or the status of the connecting network
Without realizing what he was doing, he pinged every server in a .gov domain. Next day, his ISP canceled his account; the retribution was swift and uncompromising.Bill Machrone
: to send a signal to (a device, such as a cell phone) in order to determine its status or location
Howell officers warned police agencies across the state. … Police pinged the man's phone to get its location.Andrew Ford
: to send a usually brief message (such as a text message) or notification to (a person, a person's phone, etc.)
… provides an opportunity to check the time or see who pinged you while you were coming down the mountain …Wired

Examples of ping in a Sentence

Verb Pebbles pinged off the car.
Recent Examples on the Web
He had been located thanks to a transceiver that pinged his location, and was transported to the hospital with broken bones. Kimberlee Speakman, Peoplemag, 4 Apr. 2024 One reason the black and white works so well is in part because pulling off Tom’s deceptions relies heavily on this earlier time, when there were no cellphones to be tracked or email attachments that could ping across the globe. Brian Lowry, CNN, 4 Apr. 2024 Meticulous but not rigid offense that got the ball pinging from one side to the other, players turning down merely-good looks for wide-open shots. Joseph Dycus, The Mercury News, 3 Mar. 2024 According to the lawsuit, the search warrant affidavit also shows a screenshot from the app, with a circle around the general area where the missing iPhone may have pinged. Holly Yan, CNN, 8 Mar. 2024 By Hank Tucker, Forbes Staff On Sunday, January 7, Yin Wu’s inbox kept pinging with prospective customers asking about her company’s product, which helps startups track ownership of their shares, a.k.a. cap tables. Hank Tucker, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 Penny pinged at 12:51 p.m. Monday off the coast of Florida near Sarasota County, according to Ocearch's shark tracker. Kinsey Crowley, USA TODAY, 17 Jan. 2024 The Elko County Sheriff’s office fielded Jim’s call, and searched the area where Britney’s phone had last pinged, off a road past Spring Creek High School. Dateline Nbc, NBC News, 12 Dec. 2023 Their phones are pinging constantly—one study found that the typical adolescent now gets 237 notifications a day, roughly 15 every waking hour. Jonathan Haidt, The Atlantic, 13 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ping.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History




First Known Use


1855, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1855, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ping was in 1855

Dictionary Entries Near ping

Cite this Entry

“Ping.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a sharp sound like that of a bullet striking
ping verb

Geographical Definition


geographical name

river 360 miles (579 kilometers) long in western Thailand flowing south-southeast to join the Nan River forming the Chao Phraya River

More from Merriam-Webster on ping

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!