\ ˈpiŋ How to pronounce ping (audio) \

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 How to pronounce Ping (audio) \

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

Verb Pebbles pinged off the car.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Boris Diaw led San Antonio in minutes, pinging the ball around the floor between sideline shots of espresso. Michael Shapiro,, "Ranking the Best NBA Finals of the Past Decade," 16 Sep. 2019 Among those pinging in-depth information and contacts across the group are Charles Jeffrey, Bethany Williams, Per Götteson, Rob Jones and Cat Teatum of Teatum Jones, Dilara Findikoglu, Patrick McDowell, and Sadie Williams. Sarah Mower, Vogue, "Phoebe English Is Leading the London Charge for Sustainability in Fashion, One WhatsApp Message at a Time," 13 Sep. 2019 With no intermission during the suites, no opportunities arose to rejoin the outside world, examine notifications pinging in our pockets, or exclaim over whatever a certain someone had tweeted. Zoë Madonna,, "Yo-Yo Ma’s ‘Bach Project’ offers a seat at his table to Tanglewood fans and community groups," 12 Aug. 2019 In the middle of a sleepless night, Ledecky’s phone pinged with a text from Michael Phelps. Beth Harris,, "Katie Ledecky returns but US falls to Australia in relay at swimming worlds," 25 July 2019 Even the night before, the co-leaders’ phones were pinging with requests to add more locations or asking for help figuring out where to go, what to bring, and how to get involved in the grassroots movement. Alejandra Borunda, National Geographic, "Kids striking against climate change: 'We're fighting for our lives'," 15 Mar. 2019 That will turn off connections to other devices and stop apps from constantly pinging for updates. David Nield, WIRED, "How To Get the Most Out of Your Smartphone Battery," 25 Aug. 2019 Seconds later, the ball was pinging around in front of the U.S. goal following a Dutch corner before Sauerbrunn again headed the ball away. Kevin Baxter,, "Women’s World Cup final: U.S. leads, 2-0, after Rose Lavelle’s goal," 7 July 2019 An automated system sent out a preliminary alert 21 seconds later, vibrating smartphones and pinging laptops around the world. Charlie Wood, Scientific American, "Astronomers Spy a Black Hole Devouring a Neutron Star," 19 Aug. 2019

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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More Definitions for ping



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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More from Merriam-Webster on ping

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ping

Spanish Central: Translation of ping

Nglish: Translation of ping for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ping for Arabic Speakers

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to speed up the process or progress of

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