sting

verb
\ ˈstiŋ How to pronounce sting (audio) \
stung\ ˈstəŋ How to pronounce sting (audio) \; stinging\ ˈstiŋ-​iŋ How to pronounce sting (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 sting (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 The worst of the winter sting will continue to slowly fade over the next several days. Todd Nelson, Star Tribune, "Temps climb toward normalcy; coating to 2" of snow," 17 Feb. 2021 The ancho and guajillo peppers add warmth and fruitiness, and the arbols add a zing just shy of sting. New York Times, "The Case for Stewed Tripe," 13 Jan. 2021 Newsom’s selection of Weber might take some of the sting out of criticism by some African Americans that the governor didn’t name a Black woman to replace Harris. John Wildermuth, SFChronicle.com, "Newsom to nominate Shirley Weber, Assembly member from San Diego, as secretary of state," 22 Dec. 2020 Supporters of Proposition 25 say a favorable Supreme Court ruling that finds money bail is unconstitutional would be an important change, and may even take some of the sting out of the loss. Greg Moran, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Voters said no to abolishing money bail. Now, the Supreme Court has to weigh in," 28 Nov. 2020 The Senate, that archaic, delaying body of conservatism, eventually took the sting out of the affair by moving to investigate the dispute, and eventually protecting the authority of the president. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, "America Is Testing the World’s Faith," 4 Nov. 2020 In a genre with no shortage of blazing guns and casual killing, The Ox-Bow Incident makes every death sting. Keith Phipps, Vulture, "The 50 Greatest Western Movies of All Time," 18 Jan. 2021 The second book in the series is told partly from his perspective and opens with the aforementioned flashback to his father's death by bee sting. Leah Marilla Thomas, refinery29.com, "Why Everyone’s Talking About The Bee At The End Of Bridgerton," 10 Jan. 2021 Radio transmissions released by Clark County authorities underscore how quickly an undercover drug sting escalated into a shooting that left a 21-year-old Camas man dead in a bank parking lot two months ago. oregonlive, "Radio recording shows 1:51 minutes elapsed from drug sting to fatal shooting of Kevin Peterson Jr. by Clark County deputies," 29 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For that last line, her voice drops to a mournful whisper, each ripple and crack suffused with the sting of betrayal. Los Angeles Times, "How did ‘Drivers License’ become the song of 2021? By exulting in the power of teen-girl melodrama," 24 Feb. 2021 Duckworth's military background also brought a special sting to the moment. Kristen Bellstrom, Fortune, "Sen. Tammy Duckworth on watching rioters wave the American flag while attacking the Capitol," 14 Jan. 2021 But the potential rewards for manufacturers come with a sting. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "Making an Apple EV Is a Poisoned Chalice for Car Companies," 11 Jan. 2021 Police arrested Armenta after setting up a sting to see who would pick up the parcel, which was addressed to an alias. Andy Mannix, Star Tribune, "Postal sting nets 13.5 pounds of meth bound for Minneapolis address, charges say," 6 Jan. 2021 Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal on Wednesday ruled in favor of the part-time Palm Beach resident’s claim that police unlawfully recorded him and others on secret surveillance cameras during a sting. Marc Freeman, sun-sentinel.com, "Patriots owner Robert Kraft defeats Florida in prostitution case appeal," 19 Aug. 2020 Three years ago, Natalie Portman presented the best-director category at the Golden Globes with a sting in her voice. New York Times, "It Could Be the Most Diverse Oscars Ever, but the Problem Isn’t Solved," 10 Feb. 2021 The inability to hold his hand in his final moments — or say good-bye — has left a sting in the hearts of those who loved Raymond Mitchell dearly. al, "Alabama native reunites with love of his life after 42 years, then dies of COVID," 16 Sep. 2020 The krewe's 2021 ball was only the most recent episode in a sting of controversies focused on the Mystic Krewe of Nyx and its founder Julie Lea. Doug Maccash, NOLA.com, "Nyx disputes claims as New Orleans officials threaten to withhold krewe’s 2022 parade permit," 26 Jan. 2021

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

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sting.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sting. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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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 sting (audio) \; stinging\ ˈstiŋ-​iŋ How to pronounce sting (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

Nglish: Translation of sting for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sting for Arabic Speakers

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