\ ˈriŋ How to pronounce wring (audio) \
wrung\ ˈrəŋ How to pronounce wring (audio) \; wringing\ ˈriŋ-​iŋ How to pronounce wring (audio) \

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

Other Words from wring

wring noun

Synonyms for wring


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Men, especially conservative men, continue to wring their hands over the male condition, of course. Zoë Heller, The New Yorker, 1 Aug. 2022 In addition to considering lower-cost plans, Netflix is also trying to wring money out of the 100 million households that share passwords and access the service without paying. Hamza Shaban, Anchorage Daily News, 20 July 2022 And for decades, the rule makers at the U.S. Golf Association (which sets the rules for the U.S. and Mexico) and the R&A (which sets the rules for much of the rest of the world) did little but wring their hands over it. Dave Shedloski, WSJ, 16 June 2022 Big businesses are pushing hard to wring profits out of the smaller companies that supply them with goods and services. Julie Steinberg, WSJ, 21 July 2022 Top Disney executives have made no secret of their desire to wring profits from the company’s growing emphasis on streaming. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 15 July 2022 Venture-capital backers of Teneobio Inc. have parlayed their bet on the biotechnology startup into a series of acquisition deals, illustrating the creativity some investors are using to wring profits from the sector. Brian Gormley, WSJ, 13 July 2022 Passengers are being asked to shell out hefty prices for tickets despite the increasing likelihood of hassles, as airlines try to wring out profits amid surging costs. Mary Schlangenstein, Fortune, 2 July 2022 The profile manages to wring out laughs and pathos in equal measure, though rarely from Fielder himself. Longreads, 28 June 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About wring

Time Traveler for wring

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near wring

Wright lippia



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for wring

Last Updated

15 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Wring.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wring. Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for wring


\ ˈriŋ How to pronounce wring (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on wring

Nglish: Translation of wring for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wring for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!