1 of 2

past participle of ring


2 of 2


: a rounded crosspiece between the legs of a chair
: one of the crosspieces of a ladder
Scotland : a heavy staff or cudgel
: a spoke of a wheel
: a level in a hierarchy
rise a few rungs on the social scaleH. 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
But as the 30-year-old freely concedes, those early days at the bottom rung proved instrumental to his present-day success. Eric Twardzik, Robb Report, 15 Nov. 2023 The fact that women occupy fewer than one-third of C-suite roles is less a factor of the glass ceiling and more of the broken rung, the study authors argue. Jane Thier, Fortune, 5 Oct. 2023 Most chemical straighteners snap the ladder’s sulfur rungs, and the keratin fiber rails collapse; curly hair falls flat. Syris Valentine, Scientific American, 14 Nov. 2023 But its unexpected theatrical success propelled the filmmakers several rungs up the ladder. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Nov. 2023 The broken rung is even harder to surmount for women of color, with only 73 receiving that first promotion for every 100 men who are moved up, the study found. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 5 Oct. 2023 Backers argued that because Washington (like Florida) has no income tax and raises revenue from sales tax, property taxes, and other taxes, taxpayers on lower economic rungs pay a larger share of their income in state taxes. Steve Mollman, Fortune, 5 Nov. 2023 The city was once deemed a national leader in providing what is often viewed as the lowest rung on the housing ladder that helped keep thousands of vulnerable people from living on the street, particularly in the downtown area. Michael Smolens, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Sep. 2023 But if the Trojans are truly back in college football’s top rung, her Q-rating will be safe. J. Brady McCollough, Los Angeles Times, 22 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History



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

First Known Use


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

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

Dictionary Entries Near rung

Cite this Entry

“Rung.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2

past participle of ring entry 3


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

Medical Definition


past part of ring

More from Merriam-Webster on rung

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