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 The 24-page federal criminal complaint filed Friday details the undercover sting operation that resulted in Sanford’s arrest by Homeland Security Investigations. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, "Feds: Man was willing to torture sex trafficking victim into submission for money," 10 Nov. 2020 This new episode documents an elaborate sting operation used to thwart a murder-for-hire plot. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "What’s on TV Friday: ‘The Christmas Yule Blog’ on Lifetime," 5 Nov. 2020 Our Human Trafficking task forces — local law enforcement teaming up with the state — conducted a massive statewide sting last week. Andrew Mark Miller, Washington Examiner, "US Marshals Service rescues 45 missing children in largest human trafficking operation in Ohio history," 27 Oct. 2020 Even a sting from a smaller insect isn’t likely to feel too pleasant, and about one in 20 Americans are allergic to insect stings. Sara Kiley Watson, Popular Science, "Murder hornets are officially here, but don’t freak out yet," 23 Oct. 2020 Fortunately for him, the defense didn't allow his lone boneheaded throw to sting. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Riding the Philip Rivers roller coaster and wondering if seeing really is believing," 18 Oct. 2020 But somehow, Texas Tech found a way, which has to sting even more given that the Red Raiders have only beaten the Longhorns four times in the last 22 years. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Texas Tech's late-game implosion gives it easy case for top spot in Misery Index," 28 Sep. 2020 As Poirot finds throughout his career, the most mundane clues can prove vital: a fire laid on a hot summer’s day, a bath run at an unusual hour, or a throwaway comment about a wasp sting. The Economist, "Little grey cells Hercule Poirot turns 100," 26 Sep. 2020 At some point, investigators could decide to conduct a tactical undercover operation like a drug bust or a prostitution sting. Olivia Mitchell, cleveland, "Cleveland police detective’s slaying underscores the risks of undercover investigations," 23 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Even Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer is feeling the sting of the first coronavirus Christmas season. Anchorage Daily News, "A season of disappointment and depression as COVID-19 rages into holidays," 15 Nov. 2020 Even Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer is feeling the sting of the first coronavirus Christmas season. Los Angeles Times, "A season of disappointment and depression as COVID-19 rages into holidays," 14 Nov. 2020 The sting from the Wolverines’ 27-24 defeat to rival Michigan State on Saturday isn’t going to subside anytime soon. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Jim Harbaugh was hired to win championships. He's brought disappointment instead," 3 Nov. 2020 The hiatus did little to erase the sting of Florida’s 41-38 loss at Texas A&M on Oct. 10. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "Florida-Missouri live stream (10/31): How to watch college football online, TV, time," 31 Oct. 2020 The city is slowly reopening after shifting to the least restrictive tier of California’s reopening plan, but many residents and local businesses are still feeling the sting of the pandemic’s economic disruption. Bryan Mena, SFChronicle.com, "San Francisco expands jobs program with $7.4 million funding boost," 27 Oct. 2020 Now the region and its people are feeling the sting in the long tail of that failure. Daniel Sneider, The Christian Science Monitor, "Nagorno-Karabakh: A reporter’s regretful recollections," 26 Oct. 2020 The officer, according to multiple law enforcement sources, was investigated as part of a sting conducted by agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. David Ovalle, sun-sentinel.com, "Federal agents bust Miami-Dade police officer in drug sting," 29 Oct. 2020 Among the workers who attended a rally outside Shiloh Baptist Church in Hartford on Tuesday, many have felt the acute sting of losing income, opportunities and their good health to the pandemic. Rebecca Lurye, courant.com, "At Hartford rally, front-line workers share stories of layoffs, bouts of coronavirus and worry for the future," 20 Oct. 2020

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

18 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sting.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sting. Accessed 23 Nov. 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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Comments on sting

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