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

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 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The historic nomination of Black Panther for Best Picture makes Ryan Coogler's absence from the Best Director character sting. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "8 Snubs, Surprises, and New Records Set By The 2019 Oscar Nominations," 22 Jan. 2019 Kids who rarely or never have to face significant challenges, experience the sting of failure, or navigate a bumpy journey are likely to become less resilient, less confident, and more anxious. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "What Is Lawnmower Parenting? Experts Say It Frequently Backfires," 11 Apr. 2019 For players such as Carter, the sting of defeat will linger a bit longer. Matt Calkins, The Seattle Times, "One sad day doesn’t change the solid foundation these Huskies have built," 24 Mar. 2019 The announcement is the latest effort by policy makers to take the sting out of Britain’s potentially chaotic exit from the European Union. Max Colchester, WSJ, "U.S., U.K. Agree Derivatives Deal Amid Brexit Uncertainty," 25 Feb. 2019 Detectives from the Clermont, Eustis, Leesburg and Tavares police departments worked with the sheriff’s special investigation’s unit as part of the sting Wednesday and Thursday, Jones said. Jerry Fallstrom, OrlandoSentinel.com, "30 face charges for selling alcohol to a minor in Lake County undercover sting," 18 June 2018 In 2009, prosecutors credited Hussain with rooting out radical Muslims in an elaborate sting at a mosque in Newburgh, a city north of New York City. Tom Hays, The Seattle Times, "Limo company owner was a controversial FBI informant," 9 Oct. 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

7 Apr 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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