sting

verb
\ ˈstiŋ How to pronounce sting (audio) \
stung\ ˈstəŋ How to pronounce stung (audio) \; stinging\ ˈstiŋ-​iŋ How to pronounce stinging (audio) \

Definition of sting

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to prick painfully: such as
a : to pierce or wound with a poisonous or irritating process
b : to affect with sharp quick pain or smart hail stung their faces
2 : to cause to suffer acutely stung with remorse

intransitive verb

1 : to wound one with or as if with a sting
2 : to feel a keen burning pain or smart also : to cause such pain

sting

noun

Definition of sting (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the act of stinging specifically : the thrust of a stinger into the flesh
b : a wound or pain caused by or as if by stinging
3 : a sharp or stinging element, force, or quality
4 : an elaborate confidence game specifically : such a game worked by undercover police in order to trap criminals

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Other Words from sting

Verb

stingingly \ ˈstiŋ-​iŋ-​lē How to pronounce stingingly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for sting

Synonyms: Verb

gouge, overcharge, soak, surcharge

Synonyms: Noun

bunco (or bunko), con, fiddle [chiefly British], flimflam, fraud, gyp, hustle, scam, shell game, swindle

Antonyms: Verb

undercharge

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Examples of sting in a Sentence

Verb

I got stung by a bee. The jellyfish stung the swimmer. The bees will sting if you bother them. The iodine will sting for a few minutes. The cold rain stung my eyes. The smoke made our eyes sting. She was stung by their harsh criticism.

Noun

When you get the shot, you'll feel a little sting. His arm was covered with bee stings. They were caught in a drug sting. a sting operation by police
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Venezuela’s opposition, stung by recent setbacks, is grappling for its next move to try to unseat President Nicolás Maduro. Ryan Dube, WSJ, "Venezuelan Opposition Leader’s Return From Colombia to Spell Showdown With President," 27 Feb. 2019 But the words Trump is reported to have used to describe Haiti and African counties during a meeting about immigration protections especially stung. Seth A. Richardson, cleveland.com, "Former Renacci running mate backs Mike DeWine in governor's race," 16 Jan. 2018 My strategy was very Muhammad Ali inspired: floating like a butterfly, jokes on jokes, then stinging like a bee just as the prose starts to feel comfortable. Tyler Ford, Teen Vogue, "Jacob Tobia on Their Forthcoming "Coming-of-Gender" Memoir Titled Sissy," 29 Aug. 2018 Appearing to be stung by criticism of both meetings, Trump claimed that his critics wanted him to attack Putin at the summit in Helsinki over Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Trump defends Russia and North Korea meetings, attacks 'overrated' Bob Casey at Pennsylvania rally," 2 Oct. 2018 Venoms, meanwhile, are toxins injected by the organism that produces them, usually by biting or stinging. 7. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "20 Things You Didn't Know About ... Poison," 25 Sep. 2018 Harris has played well for the Clippers and missing out on a lottery pick will sting. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons' use of trade market gets solid marks under Van Gundy," 7 Apr. 2018 On Sunday’s premiere episode, the affable survivalist learns what happens when a yellowjacket stings a man in the genitals. Steve Helling, PEOPLE.com, "Ouch! Naked and Afraid Participant Gets Stung By a Yellowjacket — in the Worst Possible Place," 8 Mar. 2018 If Trump’s comment ever stung him, Wallace is over it. Andrew Goldman, Town & Country, "Chris Wallace Is Fox News's Man in the Middle," 17 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The operation had many hallmarks of an employer sting, which have become more common under President Donald Trump but are still rare. Washington Post, "Man’s deportation reversed in rebuke of government practices," 14 June 2019 The loss of another corporate headquarters stings, and Republicans in the General Assembly blamed the state’s tax policy. Russell Blair, courant.com, "Capitol Week in Review: Republicans and Democrats fight over UTC headquarters departure," 14 June 2019 Police called the sting, which involved multiple undercover officers, both male and female, a routine operation. Elizabeth Chuck /, NBC News, "Stormy Daniels dances at another Ohio club night after arrest," 13 July 2018 The 41-year-old stings Drake later on the same track. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Pusha T & Drake's Feud, Kanye's G.O.O.D. Music Domination, XXXTentacion's Death, 'Scorpion' & More: Recapping a Wild 40 Days in Hip-Hop," 2 July 2018 Kennedy's decision particularly stings for its timing. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "With His Final Decision, Kennedy Has Screwed Over Women Like Never Before," 27 June 2018 Jellyfish on Volusia County beaches stung 250 people on Sunday, for a total of 2,050 stings in the last nine days, according to a report by WFTV. The Web Staff, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Jellyfish sting 250 people in Volusia on Father's Day: report," 18 June 2018 If the sore still stings or feels uncomfortable, applying a dab of Vaseline might help. Hannah Orenstein, Seventeen, ""I Have a Cold Sore. Does That Mean I Have Herpes?"," 22 Feb. 2019 That case occurred because someone set up a sting ray or some other device near one of the award shows, captured all of these phone access points, hacked them then, and sent that out. Rose Minutaglio, Town & Country, "How Exactly Did The National Enquirer Get Those Private Jeff Bezos Texts?," 9 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sting.' 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 sting

Verb

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

Noun

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

History and Etymology for sting

Verb

Middle English, from Old English stingan; akin to Old Norse stinga to sting and probably to Greek stachys spike of grain, stochos target, aim

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Statistics for sting

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sting

The first known use of sting was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for sting

sting

verb

English Language Learners Definition of sting

 (Entry 1 of 2)

of an insect, plant, or animal : to hurt (someone) by piercing the skin with a sharp, pointed part that usually contains poison
: to cause a quick, sharp pain
: to feel a quick sharp pain

sting

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sting (Entry 2 of 2)

: a quick, sharp pain
: an injury caused when an insect or animal stings you
: a complicated and clever plan that is meant to deceive someone especially in order to catch criminals

sting

verb
\ ˈstiŋ How to pronounce sting (audio) \
stung\ ˈstəŋ \; stinging

Kids Definition of sting

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to prick painfully usually with a sharp or poisonous stinger A bee stung my hand.
2 : to suffer or affect with sharp quick burning pain Hail stung their faces.
3 : to hurt emotionally She was stung by the harsh criticism.

sting

noun

Kids Definition of sting (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of pricking painfully usually with a sharp or poisonous stinger a bee's sting
2 : a wound or burning pain caused by the pricking of the skin with a stinger the sting of a bitter wind
3 : emotional pain the sting of criticism
4 : stinger

sting

verb
\ ˈstiŋ How to pronounce sting (audio) \
stung\ ˈstəŋ How to pronounce stung (audio) \; stinging\ ˈstiŋ-​iŋ How to pronounce stinging (audio) \

Medical Definition of sting

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to prick painfully: as
a : to pierce or wound with a poisonous or irritating process
b : to affect with sharp quick pain

intransitive verb

: to feel or cause a keen burning pain or smart the injection stung

sting

noun

Medical Definition of sting (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the act of stinging specifically : the thrust of a stinger into the flesh
b : a wound or pain caused by or as if by stinging

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sting

noun

Legal Definition of sting

: an elaborate confidence game specifically : such a game worked by undercover police in order to catch criminals

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More from Merriam-Webster on sting

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sting

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sting

Spanish Central: Translation of sting

Nglish: Translation of sting for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sting for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sting

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