sting

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for sting

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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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 Fortunately for the Bears, the stench, the sting and the pain have dissipated since that Week 12 meeting. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, "‘Not a lot of sleep this week’: For Chuck Pagano and the Chicago Bears defense, slowing Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers will be a monumental challenge," 1 Jan. 2021 Noticing when the little things sting is helpful, but be sure to also notice when the tiny wins feel really good. Julia Carpenter, WSJ, "Your 2021 Budget: Plan Ahead, but Not Too Far Ahead," 30 Dec. 2020 Yeah, the sting lingers for Oklahoma from those SEC encounters. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, "Big things may lie ahead for Oklahoma, and Cotton Bowl vs. Florida offers chance to make a statement," 29 Dec. 2020 So did Mary McCarty, a former Palm Beach County commissioner who was ensnared in a public corruption sting in 2009. Skyler Swisher, sun-sentinel.com, "As Trump leaves office, South Florida is poised to become his new ‘MAGA’ capital," 26 Dec. 2020 Unfortunately, the holiday season only makes things sting that much more as many of us are forced to forgo our travel plans and spend it without those closest to us. Ryan Shea, Glamour, "8 Games to Play on Zoom With Family and Friends Over the Holidays," 23 Dec. 2020 Particularly, there was the collapse against Navy and Tulsa that will sting for a while. Rod Walker, NOLA.com, "Walker: Tulane unable to put finishing touch on season it made sacrifices to get through," 22 Dec. 2020 Over summer and into fall, residents in Rose City Park and North Tabor had posted flyers on street poles, hidden in cars overnight in stealth sting operations, even set up homemade detection devices. oregonlive, "Stalker terrifies Portland neighborhoods," 6 Dec. 2020 The resolution of that situation, which depends entirely on Jean’s disproportionate privilege, is effective enough in pure movie-movie terms, but the deeper, uglier sting of the encounter lingers. Justin Chang Film Critic, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘I’m Your Woman,’ with Rachel Brosnahan, puts a vivid new spin on the ’70s crime thriller," 4 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The sting of being fired after five seasons there, with three winning records and two victories in three bowl appearances, still gets to Bielema. Shannon Ryan, chicagotribune.com, "Bret Bielema, a native of Prophetstown, Ill., said his life has ‘come full circle’ as the new Illinois football coach," 21 Dec. 2020 O'Nora was one of more than a dozen men arrested in connection with the one-day sting, which Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Liberty Township police chief Toby Meloro announced in a news release Monday. Tom Schad, USA TODAY, "MLB umpire Brian O'Nora pleads not guilty after being arrested in sex sting," 9 Dec. 2020 The trade war also initially caused serious pain for American farmers, although a recent recovery in soybean sales has begun to draw some of the sting. Jill Disis, CNN, "Trump promised to win the trade war with China. He failed," 24 Oct. 2020 Nine months later, the team — which returns all but one player — is still having trouble shaking the sting of the disappointment. oregonlive, "How the Portland Pilots men’s and women’s basketball teams have navigated confusion, frustration ... and hope in 2020," 22 Dec. 2020 There was the sting of seeing other projects zipping along. Byron Tate, Arkansas Online, "OPINION | EDITORIAL: Year gone, housing project not started," 20 Dec. 2020 In a civil society, losers know how to lose, finding ways to overcome the inevitable sting. Steven P. Dinkin, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Let’s move on, President Trump, for the good of the country," 20 Dec. 2020 He was fired in both places, though the sting was surely offset by buyouts that will apparently total somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 million. Paul Newberry, ajc, "Column: Alabama's Nick Saban is Coach Killer of the SEC," 18 Dec. 2020 The decision doesn’t remove the cap for individuals but will lessen or remove its sting for business owners, delivering a sizable tax cut in the waning days of the Trump administration. Richard Rubin, WSJ, "Some Business Owners Can Avoid Cap on Deductions for State and Local Taxes, Treasury Says," 9 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for sting

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for sting

Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sting.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sting. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for sting

sting

verb
How to pronounce sting (audio)

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

sting

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

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