\ˈpiŋ \

Definition of ping 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a sharp sound like that of a striking bullet

3 : 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

4 : 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


pinged; pinging; pings

Definition of ping (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to make a ping

2 : to ricochet with a ping gravel pinging off … the car— Margaret Atwood

transitive verb

1 : to cause to ping ping a bell

2 : 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

3a : 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

b : 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

c : 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


geographical name
\ˈpiŋ \

Definition of Ping (Entry 3 of 3)

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

Examples of ping in a Sentence


Pebbles pinged off the car.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Cellphone tower data showed that Maurice Bradford's phone pinged off of a tower at East 100th Street and Superior Avenue around the time of the shooting. Cory Shaffer,, "Appeals court overturns 2016 conviction of Cleveland man who declared innocence at sentencing," 12 Apr. 2018 That is not our support or, frankly, anyone’s identity to just be pinged. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Investor and lacrosse player Paul Rabil on Too Embarrassed to Ask," 18 June 2018 Officers asked for Sprint to ping the phone's location, according to police reports. Adam Ferrise,, "Woman carjacked at gunpoint, choked leaving Cleveland church," 19 Mar. 2018 Rüdiger managed to win the header, the ball beat Ter Stegen but pinged off the frame of the goal., "Barcelona 3-0 Chelsea: Lionel Messi Magic Guides Barcelona Into UEFA Champions League Quarter Finals," 14 Mar. 2018 White shards fly through the air, pinging off the hard hats of a pair of volunteers who wrestle a rain-heavy mattress to the top of the pile. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "After the Storm," 9 Feb. 2018 The company built a reputation for its mass-notification systems, capable of pinging out weather warnings and missing-persons alerts to entire cities at the touch of a button. Hiawatha Bray,, "At Everbridge, tracking bad news is good business," 8 July 2018 After a run of armed robberies in 2010-11, police obtained 127 days of data from Timothy Carpenter’s mobile carrier, which showed his phone pinging nearby cell towers while the crimes were being committed. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Robbers, Cellphones and the Law," 22 June 2018 An arrest warrant issued to Miami-Dade police into the death of Roche showed an intricate investigation that lasted more than three months that included cellphone pinging technology and video surveillance. Martin Vassolo And Charles Rabin, miamiherald, "Man killed two women in Miami, dumped bodies on street, police say," 18 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ping.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ping


1855, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1855, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for ping



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Dictionary Entries near ping






pin game


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The first known use of ping was in 1855

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English Language Learners Definition of ping

: to make the high, sharp sound of a small, hard object bouncing off metal or glass

: to bounce off something with a sharp, high sound

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