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 Olympics, which begin in late July, are important to members of the women’s team, who were stung by an early exit in Rio in 2016. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "World Cup over but Carli Lloyd and U.S. women continue to break ground," 28 Aug. 2019 The lowlight of Ree’s weekend was being stung by an insect on her right cheek while on her way to tee off on No. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Women's golf is a hard way to make a living, but for this Symetra Tour winner, it's worth a shot.," 11 Aug. 2019 When Edith was about 3 years old, a horse her father had been riding was stung by a bee and kicked him in the chest, causing fatal injuries. Richard Sandomir, BostonGlobe.com, "Edith Irby Jones, 91, pioneering black doctor in the South," 2 Aug. 2019 When Edith was about 3 years old, a horse her father had been riding was stung by a bee and kicked him in the chest, causing fatal injuries. Richard Sandomir, New York Times, "Edith Irby Jones, Barrier-Breaking Doctor in the South, Dies at 91," 23 July 2019 If America and its allies don’t act soon, then the Communist scorpion will sting — and a free Hong Kong will die. Kristina Olney, National Review, "America Must Prevent Another Tiananmen Square and Stand for a Free Hong Kong," 12 Aug. 2019 Darvish had not allowed a home run in three previous starts at Great American Ball Park, but was stung by the long ball Friday. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "Yu Darvish gives up 3 home runs, and the Cubs manage only 5 hits in a 5-2 loss to the Reds," 9 Aug. 2019 Dexter Fire and Rescue Chief Justin Powell told the Roswell Daily Record two internet service provider workers were stung over 100 times Tuesday in Dexter. USA TODAY, "Momoa at Mauna Kea, Confederate context, Guthrie garbage tribute: News from around our 50 states," 2 Aug. 2019 Responding to a frantic 911 call believed to have come from a neighbor, police and medics responded to a residence where a woman, 72, had been stung by bees around 1:45 p.m. on July 21. Thomas Jewell, cleveland.com, "Jewelry worth over $31,000 missing after prolonged period: Hunting Valley Police Blotter," 26 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In July, the online magazine Vice reported the company worked with police in Aurora, Colo., on a sting operation that left fake packages with Amazon logos on porches where Ring cameras were installed. Hiawatha Bray, BostonGlobe.com, "Amazon rings in police help for sales of doorbell security cameras," 28 Aug. 2019 The women were arrested in 2015 in a sting operation. Washington Post, "Special prosecutor will probe why the case against Jussie Smollett was dropped," 24 Aug. 2019 Is the federal government going to do sting operations trying to buy guns via private sales throughout the U.S.? Robert Verbruggen, National Review, "The Promise and Pitfalls of Universal Background Checks," 13 Aug. 2019 An undercover sting operation spanning two continents led to the arrest of an alleged international reptile smuggler last week, who now faces charges in federal court. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "Undercover sting takes down international endangered turtle smuggler," 12 Aug. 2019 And then, without notice, Le Roux was locked away, captured in a sting operation and unable to access the private keys to a fortune that would be useless to him for years anyway. Evan Ratliff, WIRED, "Was Bitcoin Created by This International Drug Dealer? Maybe!," 16 July 2019 The document wasn’t recovered until 2003, during an FBI sting operation involving an antiques dealer. USA TODAY, "Kacey Musgraves, sneaker flap, skiing in July: News from around our 50 states," 3 July 2019 Fire ants are known to sting, especially when their nest is disturbed and the creatures feel threatened. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "North Carolina woman says fire ants 'exploded' all over, delivering painful stings that nearly killed her," 28 Sep. 2018 Presumably spooked, Pata agreed to cooperate with the feds and take part in a sting to get Cheung. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "Undercover sting takes down international endangered turtle smuggler," 12 Aug. 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

8 Sep 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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