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

The Department of Health says five people have been treated in emergency rooms after being stung by jellyfish at Potter Pond in South Kingston. USA TODAY, "‘Molly of Denali,’ saloon discourse, ashes by mail: News from around our 50 states," 10 July 2019 The July 7 ambush — a sudden attack from an Army veteran with a history of mental illness unleashed a torrent of gunfire — still stings the slain officers' colleagues, too. Cassandra Jaramillo, Dallas News, "'Just so amazing': New Dallas police memorial honors 5 fallen officers from July 7 ambush," 8 July 2019 More than 50 people were stung at Seal Beach last weekend, according to KCBS-TV. Alexa Díaz, latimes.com, "Beachgoers beware: 4th of July to bring dangerous rip currents, threat of stingrays," 3 July 2019 And the latest slap across city taxpayers' faces by this no-shame Council really stings. Jason Williams, Cincinnati.com, "PX column: Cincinnati City Council quietly approves $750,000 for Health Gap. 'Moment of real change' or more of the same?," 14 June 2019 Some of those challenging times occurred a decade ago when Johnson Financial Group's Johnson Bank, like so many others across the U.S., was stung by the financial crisis and subsequent recession. Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Business Leader of the Year Helen Johnson-Leipold leads big parts of the Johnson family business," 18 May 2018 The university and Olympic organizations were stung by the Nassar scandal, with allegations that complaints of Nassar's abuse of women had not adequately been addressed. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "Another congressional committee looking into Nassar scandal," 8 Feb. 2018 That mistake stung even more after David Freese and Chris Taylor singled with two outs. Mike Digiovanna, latimes.com, "Dodgers are stunned in the ninth in loss to Cubs," 15 June 2019 In fact, two men stung last year ended up in the ER. Frank Kummer, https://www.inquirer.com, "Clinging jellyfish, known for excruciating stings, found in North Wildwood salt pond near inlet," 4 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Lawyers were the most likely of those three to be used in the real estate schemes outlined in the Global Witness sting, FATF found. Max De Haldevang, Quartz, "The American Bar Association is fighting Washington’s efforts to tackle money laundering," 1 July 2019 At the request of a congressional candidate’s campaign, the San Joaquin County sheriff’s office doctored the image of a man arrested in a pedophilia sting — a move the sheriff now says was a mistake. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Sheriff alters image from pedophile bust at Turlock candidate’s request," 19 June 2019 In one sting, a deputy posted an ad in the personals section on doublelist.com. David Harris, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Operation reduces crime, drug overdoses, sheriff's office says," 18 May 2018 In one of several cases that embarrassed China, the FBI and federal prosecutors unveiled in October a successful sting operation that netted a Chinese intelligence officer in Belgium. Washington Post, "Son of American jailed in China on spy charges asks Trump to plead his father's case at G-20 summit," 26 June 2019 His brother, Desmond Harrison, 22, is also facing a manufacturing or delivering heroin charge after he was seen conducting a drug transaction during a sting operation days after the overdose. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brothers charged with homicide and drug dealing after a fatal overdose in West Allis," 26 June 2019 Gomez was among dozens indicted by U.S. federal agents in March in a widespread sting operation targeting heroin and cocaine traffickers in Houston. Marc Ramirez, Dallas News, "Texas man believed to have masterminded hit that injured Red Sox legend 'Big Papi'," 20 June 2019 After the felon complained to police, Internal Affairs quickly moved to set up an undercover sting operation to nab the officers, though the felon was never wired up to secretly record their conversations. Jeremy Gorner, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago police investigating if sergeant forced transgender woman to perform sex act," 17 June 2019 The move was an effort to make clear officers are separate from immigration agencies, after it was discovered that police had joined federal agents on two-dozen sting operations in 2017 — and don't fully make Louisville a sanctuary city. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "Border crisis, tariffs, sanctuary cities: Here's what top ICE official said in Louisville," 16 June 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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Statistics for sting

Last Updated

14 Jul 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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