Definition of rung

 (Entry 1 of 2)

past participle of ring


\ ˈrəŋ How to pronounce rung (audio) \

Definition of rung (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a rounded crosspiece between the legs of a chair
b : one of the crosspieces of a ladder
2 Scotland : a heavy staff or cudgel
3 : a spoke of a wheel
4 : a level in a hierarchy rise a few rungs on the social scale— H. W. Van Loon

Examples of rung in a Sentence

Noun He was on the bottom rung on the corporate ladder. the top rung of society the lowest rung of the pay scale
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun With each rung climbed, the system is more closely monitored and regulated, until the animal reaches the top of the ladder, the processing plant, where it is slaughtered and its meat butchered. Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2022 The low rung garners four points, the medium six, the high bar 10, and the uppermost, known as the traversal, a solid 15. Lane Sainty, The Arizona Republic, 20 Apr. 2022 There is likely to be much more turnover in the full Politburo, the second-highest rung of power. New York Times, 14 Feb. 2022 Back in 2014, IndyCar, the longtime owner of the Indy Lights series, looked to Dan Andersen’s ‘Andersen Promotions’ to help elevate the level and performance of the top rung of the Road to Indy Ladder system. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 25 Sep. 2021 Errim has now grown to include 164 women from the area, benefiting families on each rung in the supply chain, from veteran pepper pickers to women who otherwise could not find work. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 Apr. 2022 On the bottom rung is Robert H. Castellini, a fruit-and-vegetable wholesaling heir who owns the Cincinnati Reds. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 2 Mar. 2022 Despite some progress, in 2021, women still remain underrepresented on every rung of the corporate ladder. Bianca Barratt, Forbes, 22 Oct. 2021 Newcastle would be able to match those salaries and need to improve their squad quickly to get out of their relegation battle and move up to the next rung on the Premier League ladder. Steve Price, Forbes, 14 Oct. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of rung


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for rung


Middle English, from Old English hrung crossbar; akin to Goth hrunga staff and perhaps to Old English hring ring — more at ring

Learn More About rung

Time Traveler for rung

Time Traveler

The first known use of rung was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near rung

run for one's life



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for rung

Cite this Entry

“Rung.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for rung


\ ˈrəŋ How to pronounce rung (audio) \

Kids Definition of rung

 (Entry 1 of 2)

past participle of ring



Kids Definition of rung (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a rounded part placed as a crosspiece between the legs of a chair
2 : one of the crosspieces of a ladder


Medical Definition of rung

past part of ring

More from Merriam-Webster on rung

Nglish: Translation of rung for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rung for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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