ring

1 of 4

noun (1)

1
: a circular band for holding, connecting, hanging, pulling, packing, or sealing
a key ring
a towel ring
2
: a circlet usually of precious metal worn especially on the finger
3
a
: a circular line, figure, or object
smoke ring
b
: an encircling arrangement
a ring of suburbs
c
: a circular or spiral course
often used figuratively in plural in the phrase run rings around to describe surpassing an opponent decisively
4
a(1)
: an often circular space especially for exhibitions or competitions
especially : such a space at a circus
(2)
: a structure containing such a ring
b
: a usually square enclosure in which a fighting contest (such as a boxing or wrestling match) takes place
5
: a band of small objects revolving around a planet (such as Saturn) and composed of dust and icy or rocky fragments
6
7
a
: an exclusive combination of persons for a selfish and often corrupt purpose (as to control a market)
a wheat ring
b
: gang
8
: the field of a political contest : race
9
: food in the shape of a circle
10
: an arrangement of atoms represented in formulas or models in a cyclic manner

called also cycle

11
: a set of mathematical elements that is closed under two binary operations of which the first forms a commutative group with the set and the second is associative over the set and is distributive with respect to the first operation
12
rings plural
a
: a pair of usually rubber-covered metal rings suspended from a ceiling or crossbar to a height of approximately eight feet above the floor and used for hanging, swinging, and balancing feats in gymnastics
b
: an event in gymnastics competition in which the rings are used
13
: boxing entry 1
ended his ring career
ringlike adjective

ring

2 of 4

verb (1)

ringed; ringing ˈriŋ-iŋ How to pronounce ring (audio)

transitive verb

1
: to provide with a ring
2
: to place or form a ring around : encircle
police ringed the building
3
4
: to throw a ringer over (the peg) in a game (such as horseshoes or quoits)

intransitive verb

1
a
: to move in a ring
b
: to rise in the air spirally
2
: to form or take the shape of a ring

ring

3 of 4

verb (2)

rang ˈraŋ How to pronounce ring (audio) ; rung ˈrəŋ How to pronounce ring (audio) ; ringing ˈriŋ-iŋ How to pronounce ring (audio)

intransitive verb

1
: to sound resonantly or sonorously
the doorbell rang
cheers rang out
2
a
: to be filled with a reverberating sound : resound
the halls rang with laughter
b
: to have the sensation of being filled with a humming sound
his ears rang
3
: to cause something to ring
ring for the butler
4
a
: to be filled with talk or report
the whole land rang with her fame
b
: to have great renown
c
: to sound repetitiously
their praise rang in his ears
5
: to have a sound or character expressive of some quality
a story that rings true
6
chiefly British : to make a telephone call
usually used with up

transitive verb

1
: to cause to sound especially by striking
2
: to make (a sound) by or as if by ringing a bell
3
: to announce by or as if by ringing
4
: to repeat often, loudly, or earnestly
5
a
: to summon especially by bell
b
chiefly British : telephone
usually used with up

ring

4 of 4

noun (2)

1
: a set of bells
2
: a clear resonant sound made by or resembling that made by vibrating metal
3
: resonant tone : sonority
4
: a loud sound continued, repeated, or reverberated
5
: a sound or character expressive of some particular quality
the story had a familiar ring
6
a
: the act or an instance of ringing
b
: a telephone call
Phrases
ring a bell
: to arouse a response
that name rings a bell
ring down the curtain
: to conclude a performance or an action
ring off the hook
: to ring frequently or constantly with incoming calls
the telephone was ringing off the hook
ring the changes or ring changes
: to run through the range of possible variations
ring up the curtain
: to begin a performance or an action

Examples of ring in a Sentence

Noun (1) a ring of counterfeiters passing phony $20 bills a metal ring encircled the barrel a gaming ring that meets once a week to play the coffee cup left a ring on the table Verb (1) tall cypress trees ringing the park the line of season ticket buyers ringed the block Verb (2) I didn't hear the doorbell ring Noun (2) give me a ring when you're ready to go
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The former president and presumptive Republican nominee was showing off a chart of border crossing numbers during his last rally before the Republican National Convention when bangs started ringing through the crowd. Nhat V. Meyer, The Mercury News, 13 July 2024 When Suzie finally relents and dials, her husband Masa’s (Hidetoshi Nishijima) phone, which should be off, keeps ringing. Lili Loofbourow, Washington Post, 10 July 2024 The square is ringed by storefronts offering cannabis, legal services and $500 cowboy boots. Christopher Flavelle, New York Times, 8 July 2024 Scott used his radio show to publicize community events and was most often spotted all over Greater Cincinnati as a volunteer himself, ringing the bell for the Salvation Army’s red kettle campaign or emceeing United Way fundraisers. Jeff Suess, The Enquirer, 29 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for ring 

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English, going back to Old English hring (masculine strong noun), going back to Germanic *hrenga- (whence also Old Frisian hring, ring "ring," Old Saxon hring "chain mail," Old High German ring, rinh "ring," Old Icelandic hringr), going back to dialectal Indo-European *krengho-, *krongho-, whence also Old Church Slavic krǫgŭ "circle, ring," Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian krûg, Polish krąg

Note: The only certain attestations of this etymon are in Germanic and Slavic. As it violates an Indo-European root structure constraint on co-occurrence of a voiceless stop and a voiced aspirate stop, the etymon is presumably late or post-Indo-European, or borrowed from an unknown source.

Verb (1)

Middle English ringen, derivative of ring ring entry 1

Verb (2)

Middle English, from Old English hringan; akin to Old Norse hringja to ring

First Known Use

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Verb (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun (2)

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ring was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near ring

Cite this Entry

“Ring.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ring. Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

ring

1 of 4 noun
1
: a circular band for holding, connecting, hanging, or pulling or for packing or sealing
a key ring
a towel ring
2
: a circular band usually of precious metal worn on the finger
3
: something circular in shape
smoke rings
4
: an often circular space for shows and contests
a circus ring
a boxing ring
5
6
: a group of persons involved in selfish or dishonest activities
a ring of thieves
7
plural : a pair of rings suspended from above and used for hanging, swinging, and balancing tricks in gymnastics
ringed
ˈriŋd
adjective
ringlike adjective

ring

2 of 4 verb
ringed; ringing ˈriŋ-iŋ How to pronounce ring (audio)
1
: to place or form a ring around : encircle
2
: to provide with a ring
3
: to throw a ringer over (the peg) in a game (as horseshoes)
4
: to form or take the shape of a ring

ring

3 of 4 verb
rang ˈraŋ How to pronounce ring (audio) ; rung ˈrəŋ How to pronounce ring (audio) ; ringing ˈriŋ-iŋ How to pronounce ring (audio)
1
: to make a clear and vibrating sound when struck
church bells ringing
2
: to cause to sound especially by striking
rang the bell
3
: to announce by or as if by ringing
ring an alarm
ring in the new year
4
: to sound loudly
cheers rang out
5
a
: to be filled with echoing sound : resound
the whole hall rang with their cheers
b
: to have the feeling of being filled with a humming sound
his ears were ringing
6
: to be filled with talk or news
the whole town rang with news of the victory
7
: to seem to have some particular quality
her story rings true
8
a
: to call for especially by bell
ring for the servants
b
chiefly British : to call on the telephone
will ring you up tomorrow

ring

4 of 4 noun
1
: a set of bells
2
: a clear sound made by or as if by vibrating metal
3
: a tone like that of a bell
4
: a continuous or repeating loud noise
5
: something that suggests a certain quality
a story with the ring of truth
6
a
: the act or an instance of ringing
b
: a telephone call
Etymology

Noun

Old English hring "a circular band"

Verb

Old English hringan "to ring"

Medical Definition

ring

1 of 2 noun
1
a
: a circular band
b
: an anatomical structure having a circular opening : annulus
2
: an arrangement of atoms represented in formulas or models in a cyclic manner as a closed chain

called also cycle

ring

2 of 2 intransitive verb
rang ˈraŋ How to pronounce ring (audio) ; rung ˈrəŋ How to pronounce ring (audio) ; ringing ˈriŋ-iŋ How to pronounce ring (audio)
: to have the sensation of being filled with a humming sound
his ears rang

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