\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

Republicans’ opposition to civil rights cost them most of their non-white support, leading them to the white-identity politics from which Mr Trump is now wringing the last drop of juice. The Economist, "A blot against America," 23 June 2018 With a staging that feels at once spare and full of life, Elliott’s National Theatre production — first in London, now in New York — has been wringing adjectives from critics: vivid, funny, elegant, clever, striking, enthralling. Craig Nakano, latimes.com, "Marianne Elliott, the British director who sent 'Angels in America' back into flight," 7 June 2018 Republicans have spent months wringing their hands over Trump’s trade moves and arguing against them but have failed to do anything to stop them. Erica Werner, BostonGlobe.com, "In symbolic rebuke, Senate votes for a congressional role in Trump’s tariff decisions," 11 July 2018 The creative seas of the big-budget games industry ride unending tides of stagnation and reinvention, a cycle of death and renewed life that wrings millions of dollars out of consumers every year. Julie Muncy, WIRED, "Yes, Call of Duty's Single-Player Campaign Will Be Missed," 18 May 2018 Ant-Man and the Wasp revels in wringing joy from mundane items—a giant salt shaker is a weapon in one scene, as is an inflated Hello Kitty Pez dispenser in another. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Ant-Man and the Wasp," 5 July 2018 Trump on Wednesday softened proposed limits on China’s right to invest in U.S. technology companies, the latest sign of an on-again, off-again trade war that is raising doubts about his ability to wring concessions from Beijing. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Kennedy retirement isn't a game changer for corporate America," 28 June 2018 Washington’s latest hard-line approach, Chinese officials said, isn’t going to wring concessions from China. Yoko Kubota, WSJ, "China Warns of Corporate Casualties as Trade War Brews," 15 June 2018 This has prompted protests from Asian Americans who feel this policy disproportionately hurts them, as well as hand-wringing from graduates of these schools, who believe the move will lower the quality of the education at these institutions. Alvin Chang, Vox, "The fraught racial politics of entrance exams for elite high schools," 14 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

28 Sep 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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Comments on wring

What made you want to look up wring? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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