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

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 Hood, who had never been traded before, was stung by the move. Lee Jenkins, SI.com, "Is There Still Time for Rodney Hood to Rediscover His Form for Cavs?," 2 June 2018 Their cheeks were never stinging from just having been slapped. Michael Harriot, The Root, "There’s Nothing Wrong With Treating an Asshole Like an Asshole," 25 June 2018 Some might still be stinging from Gentry’s base-running gaffe May 30, when his aggressiveness on the bases ran the Orioles out of a potential rally in the ninth inning in a two-run loss to the Washington Nationals. Eduardo A. Encina, baltimoresun.com, "Opportunities have been fleeting for Orioles' Gentry, but he's taken them lately and run with them," 7 June 2018 But the turmoil surrounding the nomination could also sting Donnelly if Democrats are seen as politicizing the allegation. Brian Slodysko, The Seattle Times, "GOP frets about prospects for picking up Indiana Senate seat," 18 Sep. 2018 In a series full of brutal moments, this one still really stings. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sharp Objects Episode 7: Adora Shows Her True Colors," 20 Aug. 2018 And unlike bees, wasps and hornets, the bald-face hornet can sting multiple times, according to Orkin. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "QUIZ: Can You Identify These Dangerous Summer Plants and Bugs?," 3 Aug. 2018 Trump was stung by Mattis’ resignation, which the president saw as an inappropriate public rebuke, people familiar with his views said. John Hudson, The Seattle Times, "Many of Trump’s advisers tried to derail Syria withdrawal," 13 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

When the 47-year-old was appointed in November 2016 after Sam Allardyce left his post following a newspaper sting after just 67 days in charge, there was little fanfare. Pirate Irwin, chicagotribune.com, "Southgate, England bask in unexpected World Cup success," 8 July 2018 Newcastle have made an attempt to put a sting in Sampdoria’s tail to try and sign Lokomitiv Zagreb attacking midfielder Lovro Majer. SI.com, "Newcastle Looking to Hijack Sampdoria Deal for In-Demand Midfielder as Rafa Benitez Adds Depth," 16 June 2018 Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images BlacKkKlansman is about an undercover sting operation that makes fools of the KKK The bulk of BlacKkKlansman is Stallworth’s story, based on his book Black Klansman. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman draws a ham-fisted line from white supremacy’s past to its present," 15 May 2018 Administration officials, as well as the president’s allies, have meanwhile tried to spin the sting of deaths as fairly a rare occurrence. Amanda Sakuma, Vox, "Trump is using the deaths of two migrant children to push for his border wall," 29 Dec. 2018 This Jersey City sting follows similar operations across cities in New Mexico, California, and Oregon, according to the AP. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Police use cameras and fake Amazon boxes with GPS to catch thieves," 12 Dec. 2018 Where others might have ramped up round capacity by increasing chamber size, Sripol's mod gives foam darts the sting of a paintball gun. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Nerf Gun Powered by Hydrogen Is So Powerful It Rips Darts Apart," 6 Dec. 2018 Jerry Jacobson and his network of mobsters, psychics, strip-club owners and drug traffickers won almost every prize for 12 years, until the FBI launched an undercover scam sting called Operation Final Answer. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Uber is dumping its controversy-plagued self-driving truck business," 31 July 2018 Stone reportedly advised her again, but her political aspirations were stymied by an arrest right before the primary, this time stemming from a drug sting. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The former “Manhattan Madam” has met with Robert Mueller’s team," 4 Aug. 2018

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

10 Mar 2019

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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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