\ˈriŋ \
wrung\ˈrəŋ \; wringing\ˈriŋ-​iŋ \

Definition of wring 

transitive verb

1 : to squeeze or twist especially so as to make dry or to extract moisture or liquid wring a towel dry

2 : to extract or obtain by or as if by twisting and compressing wring water from a towel wring a confession from the suspect

3a : to twist so as to strain or sprain into a distorted shape I could wring your neck

b : to twist together (clasped hands) as a sign of anguish

4 : to affect painfully as if by wringing : torment a tragedy that wrings the heart

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Other Words from wring

wring noun

Synonyms for wring


twist, wrench, wrest

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Examples of wring in a Sentence

I wrung the towel and hung it up to dry. I wrung my hair and wrapped it in a towel.

Recent Examples on the Web

The first and most obvious is that the iPhone has become boring, trapped by the diminishing returns Apple can wring out of the device year after year. Nick Statt, The Verge, "The Apple Watch stole the show from this year’s new iPhones," 15 Sep. 2018 That causes some surface air warming, which also gives a lifting boost that wrings moisture out of the air. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Carpeting Sahara with wind and solar farms could make it rain," 8 Sep. 2018 Some, like Teigen, have turned to syringes to recover the milk, while several others wrote about soaking it up with paper towels and wringing them out into a bottle. Andrea Park, Glamour, "Moms Are Living For These Videos of Chrissy Teigen Saving Her Spilled Breast Milk," 19 July 2018 The Trump administration has wrung an impressive amount of sympathetic press from a handful of uncomfortable public encounters. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Stephen Miller Owned the Libs by Throwing Away His Own Sushi," 9 July 2018 There may be hand-wringing out there over Nvidia’s new ray-tracing graphics family, but that isn’t stopping PC vendors from jumping in with both PCIe slots. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Acer, Alienware, and HP have all announced desktops with GeForce RTX," 20 Aug. 2018 Executives say the consistent improvement reflects their focus on wringing out inefficiencies, improved marketing and attention to customer desires and service. David Staats, idahostatesman, "Albertsons has lost money for years. This is what it says now about its finances. | Idaho Statesman," 11 Apr. 2018 Our determination to increase complexity and wring out inefficiencies, the authors warn, moves us into a danger zone and set us up for calamity. David A. Shaywitz, WSJ, "‘Meltdown’ Review: Flirting With Disaster," 2 Apr. 2018 That allowed tropical moisture to flow northward only to be wrung out over the mid-Atlantic. Scott Dance, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore rainfall topped 8 inches for just the third time on record in May," 1 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wring.' 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 wring

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for wring

Middle English, from Old English wringan; akin to Old High German ringan to struggle, Lithuanian rengtis to bend down, Old English wyrgan to strangle — more at worry

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Statistics for wring

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wring

The first known use of wring was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for wring



English Language Learners Definition of wring

: to twist and squeeze (wet cloth, hair, etc.) to remove water

: to get (something) out of someone or something with a lot of effort

: to twist and break (an animal's neck) in order to kill the animal


\ˈriŋ \
wrung\ˈrəŋ \; wringing

Kids Definition of wring

1 : to twist or press so as to squeeze out moisture Wring out your bathing suit.

2 : to get by or as if by twisting or pressing Police wrung a confession from the criminal.

3 : to twist with a forceful or violent motion He wrung the chicken's neck.

4 : to affect as if by wringing The bad news wrung our hearts.

5 : to twist (hands) together as a sign of anguish

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More from Merriam-Webster on wring

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wring

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wring

Spanish Central: Translation of wring

Nglish: Translation of wring for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wring for Arabic Speakers

Comments on wring

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amusing and light sparring with words

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