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

transitive verb

: to squeeze or twist especially so as to make dry or to extract moisture or liquid
wring a towel dry
: to extract or obtain by or as if by twisting and compressing
wring water from a towel
wring a confession from the suspect
: to twist so as to strain or sprain into a distorted shape
I could wring your neck
: to twist together (clasped hands) as a sign of anguish
: to affect painfully as if by wringing : torment
a tragedy that wrings the heart
wring noun

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 move is one of a series aimed at wringing more from the operations of CBS News and the company’s local stations, which were merged under a single operational aegis in 2021. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 8 Apr. 2024 Last year, the CDC took another step designed to wring out errors, requiring states to start verifying checkbox information on a subset of records. Robin Fields, ProPublica, 5 Apr. 2024 The love triangle comes to seem more tedious than tantalizing because of how staunchly this particular camera, which wrings transcendent compositions out of bolts and steel beams and mousetraps and blood, refuses to glamorize its very-good-looking principals. Lili Loofbourow, Washington Post, 4 Apr. 2024 Anyone inclined to wring their hands over TikTok’s role in sullying public discourse and internet safety in this country must acknowledge the role of all the leading social media platforms — not only Meta but X and YouTube. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 14 Mar. 2024 That will keep borrowers wringing their hands on how to best use their income. Medora Lee, USA TODAY, 6 Feb. 2024 Best Mop: Libman Rinse ’n Wring Mop System A compact alternative to a bulky mop and bucket, this floor cleaner features a wringing system that keeps clean and dirty water separate and uses less water than a traditional mop. Ella Field, Better Homes & Gardens, 13 Mar. 2024 Hard-right Republicans have tried to use their party's razor-thin majority in the House as leverage to wring spending cuts and conservative policy conditions on how federal money can be spent from Biden and Democrats in the Senate. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, arkansasonline.com, 28 Feb. 2024 Its bucket has two slots: One chamber rinses and removes hair and debris from the mop head, and the other uses double scrapers to wring out excess water. Toni Sutton, Peoplemag, 24 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wring.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near wring

Cite this Entry

“Wring.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wring. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


wrung ˈrəŋ How to pronounce wring (audio) ; wringing ˈriŋ-iŋ How to pronounce wring (audio)
: to squeeze or twist especially so as to make dry or to rid of moisture or liquid
wring wet clothes
: to get by or as if by twisting or pressing
wring the truth out of them
: to twist into an unnatural shape or appearance with a forcible or violent motion
wring a chicken's neck
: to cause pain to as if by wringing : torment
their troubles wrung our hearts

More from Merriam-Webster on wring

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