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

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 It has been stung by falling sales of physical video games, one of the company's mainstays. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, "GameStop's rough year continues with more weak earnings," 11 Dec. 2019 Denver essentially stayed the same, stung by the second-round loss to Portland but determined that center Nikola Jokic and guard Jamal Murray can carry the Nuggets to greater heights. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "As the Warriors regroup, who will win the NBA title?," 20 Oct. 2019 The world's largest oil field service company beat Wall Street expectations on revenue but got stung by pretax charges that resulted in a multibillion loss for stockholders during the third quarter. Sergio Chapa, Houston Chronicle, "Schlumberger posts $11.4 billion loss amid hefty pretax charges," 18 Oct. 2019 The service, stung by recent difficulties fielding new hulls such as the destroyer USS Zumwalt, could choose to produce the same type of ship but with progressively more advanced technology, including weapons. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Why the Navy Is More Interested in the 'Ship of Theseus' Than the USS Zumwalt," 15 Aug. 2019 Soon after, teammate Andreas Pereira went close as his mazy run ended with a shot that stung Bernd Leno's fingertips. SI.com, "Man Utd 1-1 Arsenal: Report, Ratings & Reaction as VAR Intervention Rescues Point for Gunners," 30 Sep. 2019 Anna Ward for The Forbes Lab, The University of Iowa To deposit its eggs, the parasitic oak gall wasp pierces a leaf or stem with its ovipositor, a long tubelike organ that would be a stinger if this wasp were the kind that stings. Joanna Klein, New York Times, "There Are Parasitic Wasps, and Then There’s the Crypt-Keeper," 27 Sep. 2019 Instead, only LSU’s team was shook, taking a 29-0 whipping from the Crimson Tide that will sting until Orgeron — or some future head coach — can beat Nick Saban. Los Angeles Times, "College football 2019: Is this the year LSU and Ed Orgeron really torture USC fans?," 14 Aug. 2019 Nocawich The loss of Noca restaurant is a wound that still stings, even four years later, but Eliot Wexler’s Tempe sandwich shop is a soothing salve. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "These are the best restaurants in Tempe," 6 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The bill drafted by Manley would, among other things, add specificity to the element of predisposition: Prosecutors would have to show the defendant made moves toward committing the crime before becoming the target of a sting. Nausheen Husain, chicagotribune.com, "‘Guantanamo North’ prison units in the Midwest are under fire for their harsh conditions. After 10 years, one man is still fighting his case.," 6 Dec. 2019 There were fewer people in the water on Sunday after the weather got cooler, KTLA reported, and the number of stings went down. David Williams, CNN, "Record 176 people stung by stingrays at popular California beach in one day," 29 Oct. 2019 Authorities say another person had a small number of stings and refused treatment by responders at the scene about 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) north of Interstate 10. Fox News, "California resident hospitalized with more than 100 bee stings," 30 Sep. 2019 Authorities say another person had a small number of stings and refused treatment by responders at the scene about 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) north of Interstate 10. San Diego Union-Tribune, "California resident hospitalized with more than 100 stings," 29 Sep. 2019 Businesses, especially tourism dependent sectors, have begun to complain of an economic sting as the protracted, sometimes violent upheaval scares off visitors. Time Staff, Time, "'You've Caused Hurt and Disappointment.' Hongkongers Lash Out at Embattled Leader During Town Hall Meeting," 26 Sep. 2019 In 2017, West Allis police cited four unidentified people at the parlor for prostitution as part of a sting operation that also included another business, where two more people were cited. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Massage parlor manager told an employee the business hinged on her selling sex to customers, complaint says," 27 Dec. 2019 Meanwhile, Smith is conducting her own sting operation in case the bandit comes back to her home. Holly Yan, CNN, "A porch pirate stole a package from a home, then threw shade with a snarky thank-you note," 15 Dec. 2019 The transaction was instead part of an elaborate undercover sting operation. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "China is trying to steal military space tech. The US is running stings to stop it.," 16 Sep. 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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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

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sting.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sting. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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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 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sting

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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