sting

1 of 2

verb

stung ˈstəŋ How to pronounce sting (audio) ; stinging ˈstiŋ-iŋ How to pronounce sting (audio)

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
3

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
stingingly adverb

sting

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: 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
2
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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Rinaldi was stung on the arm and Shriver, quite considerately, removed the sting. Jon Haworth, ABC News, 13 July 2024 And then if you do get stung, getting in hot water, like a hot tub can deactivate it. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 1 July 2024
Noun
Shyamalan said his film was partially inspired by the real-life Operation Flagship, a 1985 sting operation in which U.S. Marshals offered NFL tickets to lure and capture fugitives. Armando Tinoco, Deadline, 1 July 2024 People in districts like Florida’s Miami-Dade County are now feeling the sting of these harmful policies in their exceptionally long drives that take days of travel to complete. Sara Estep, Orlando Sentinel, 30 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for sting 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sting.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near sting

Cite this Entry

“Sting.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sting. Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

sting

1 of 2 verb
stung ˈstəŋ How to pronounce sting (audio) ; stinging ˈstiŋ-iŋ How to pronounce sting (audio)
1
a
: to prick painfully especially with a sharp or poisonous stinger
stung by a bee
b
: to affect with or feel quick piercing pain or smart
hail stung their faces
2
: to cause to suffer mentally
stung with regret
3
: overcharge sense 1, cheat
got stung on the deal
4
: to use a stinger
bees sting

sting

2 of 2 noun
1
a
: the act of stinging
b
: a wound or pain caused by or as if by stinging
2
stingless
ˈstiŋ-ləs
adjective

Medical Definition

sting

1 of 2 verb
stung ˈstəŋ How to pronounce sting (audio) ; stinging ˈstiŋ-iŋ How to pronounce sting (audio)

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

2 of 2 noun
1
a
: 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
2

Legal Definition

sting

noun
: an elaborate confidence game
specifically : such a game worked by undercover police in order to catch criminals

More from Merriam-Webster on sting

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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