sting

verb
\ˈstiŋ \
stung\ˈstəŋ \; stinging\ˈstiŋ-iŋ \

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 \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for sting

Synonyms: Verb

gouge, overcharge, soak, surcharge

Synonyms: Noun

ache, pain, pang, prick, shoot, smart, stitch, throe, tingle, twinge

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

But a few of those fizzles stung, and the repetition felt like a rollercoaster - fun at first, but nauseating before long. Hannah Orenstein, chicagotribune.com, "How working as a matchmaker ruined my love life," 30 June 2018 For decades, the dilapidated presence of the once majestic train station stung residents as an ominous reminder of widespread neglect. Tamara Warren, The Verge, "Inside Detroit’s crumbling train station that Ford plans to transform into a mobility lab," 20 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 The scandal and another alleged cronyism case linked to Abe have stung him since last year and hurt his support ratings. Washington Post, "Japan’s prime minister heads to Russia for talks with Putin," 24 May 2018 With one out, catcher Russell Martin stung a ground ball up the middle that was ticketed for center field. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles' Andrew Cashner backs up bravado with seven shutout innings against Blue Jays," 11 Apr. 2018 Yes, a swarm of stinging sea lice have invaded the shores around Pensacola Beach, leading authorities to post purple flags to warn about the irritating underwater creatures. Matthew Diebel, USA TODAY, "Ee-ew! Authorities warn as sea lice invade beaches in Pensacola, northwest Florida," 27 June 2018 Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, a longtime Renzi ally, and several senior party figures have been stung by Renzi’s criticism of the government and disagree with his determination to take the party into opposition, according to the official. John Follain, Bloomberg.com, "Renzi Rebels Open to Deal With Italian Populists, Official Says," 6 Mar. 2018 Ball got stung in the face in his first moments volunteering at Gorman Heritage Farm. Jim Owczarski, Cincinnati.com, "How, and why, a former Cincinnati Bengals running back turned into a beekeeper," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Dr Bohannon set up a sting operation by writing versions of a paper falsely claiming that a molecule found in lichens inhibits cancer. The Economist, "Some science journals that claim to peer review papers do not do so," 21 June 2018 This is true even in undercover sting operations where FBI agents play a surreptitious and instrumental role in inducing a defendant to commit crimes. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Examining the NCAA Probe: Did the FBI Unfairly Target Christian Dawkins?," 23 May 2018 For adults administering punishment, the use of switches, belt straps, paddles and the like delivered increased punishment while saving their hands from the sting of the swat. Bukola Adebayo, CNN, "Nigerian students tied to crucifixes and beaten for coming late to school," 18 May 2018 The spider didn’t die of old age, however, but was killed by a wasp sting, researchers said Monday. Eli Meixler, Time, "The World's Oldest Known Spider Has Died at the Age of 43 From a Wasp Sting," 30 Apr. 2018 Cooper was suspended from office after her Jan. 25 arrest on felony charges stemming from an FBI sting. Susannah Bryan, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Suspended Hallandale Mayor Joy Cooper violated Sunshine Law 26 times, Inspector General says," 23 Apr. 2018 Previously in Second Acts The life is not without its challenges, like the time Ms. Coates had to rush to a vet in Cyprus with a dog that was having an allergic reaction to a wasp sting. Julie Halpert, WSJ, "Traveling the World, Rent Free," 20 Apr. 2018 Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram Loss stings for seniors but TCU can learn from shooting woes down the stretch TCU's historic season ends with thud in NCAA tournament TCU took a chance on a shooter. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "After a slew of firsts in 2018, TCU aims for seconds and thirds in 2019 | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 18 Mar. 2018 The critters go by other names including thimble jellyfish, and their sting can cause nasty side effects like a rash, itching, and other cumbersome symptoms. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "What You Should Know About These Nasty, Rash-Causing Sea Lice Reported in Florida Beaches," 27 June 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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Phrases Related to sting

sting for

Statistics for sting

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

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 \
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 \
stung\ˈstəŋ \; stinging\ˈstiŋ-iŋ \

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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