\ ˈziŋ How to pronounce zing (audio) \

Definition of zing

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a shrill humming noise
2a : an enjoyably exciting or stimulating quality : zest really put some zing into this industry— Erwin Fine
b : a sharply piquant flavor barbecue sauce with zing


zinged; zinging; zings

Definition of zing (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to make or move with a humming sound
2 : zip, speed

transitive verb

1 : to hit suddenly : zap
2 : to criticize in a pointed or witty manner

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Examples of zing in a Sentence


They needed to put some zing back into their relationship. The chili peppers give the sauce a little extra zing.


The comics spent the evening cracking jokes and zinging each other. His opponent has run television ads zinging him.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

To me, a zing of coral is what makes this sassy shade werk. Lindsay Schallon, Glamour, "5 Cult Favorite Lipstick Shades That Truly Look Awesome on Everyone," 1 Aug. 2019 Bubbles of carbon dioxide trapped in the candy release in your mouth with little electric zings—delightful, if a bit alarming at first. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "The Scientist Behind Some of Our Favorite Junk Foods," 20 July 2019 Just a little zing that is enough to convince the squirrel to stay off the fence. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Pleasant Hill battleground: humans vs. ground squirrels," 8 July 2019 The thirst-quenching results are light with a floral zing and crisp mouthfeel. Jay R. Brooks, The Mercury News, "6 superb California craft lagers for summer," 3 June 2019 Accessories, which ran the gamut from sequin palette skinny scarves to frilly socks layered underneath high-top sneakers and patent leather Mary Jane heels, added that extra zing of haute-kitsch. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Prada Serves Up the Secret to Pulling Off Neon Bright Eye Makeup With Ease," 3 May 2019 Orange-Lemon Waffles Add some zing to your homemade waffles. Molly Dodd, Fox News, "10 unique waffle recipes," 24 Aug. 2015 To me, a zing of coral is what makes this sassy shade werk. Michelle Sulcov, Glamour, "5 Cult Favorite Lipstick Shades That Truly Look Awesome on Everyone," 28 Aug. 2018 Inspired by Queen Isabelle of Hungary’s famous youthful elixir, this makeup-artist favorite imparts a dewy, supple glow with toning rose extract and rosemary essential oil, as well as a refreshing zing with astringent mint. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "How to Turn Your Desk Into the Ultimate Self-Care Station in 2019," 12 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Meanwhile, the most tweeted about moment, according to data released by Twitter, came when Booker zinged Biden during a clash on criminal justice. Brian Stelter, CNN, "Google reveals most-searched candidate during Wednesday debate," 1 Aug. 2019 Curry, double-teamed, passed to Iguodala, who zinged a pass to Draymond Green, who fired cross-court to Thompson, who pump-faked Leonard into the air, paused, and drilled a 3. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors’ Splash Brothers are on the spot in Game 6," 12 June 2019 Down 49-47 to West Clermont Wednesday night, with a few seconds left and one play, Kennedi Myles took an inbound pass, crossed half court and zinged the strings for the winning trifecta for a 50-49 stunner. Scott Springer, Cincinnati.com, "Springer: Are deep freezes coming in the CHL?," 28 Jan. 2018 While Dracula zings again, this third offering in the offbeat look at the world of ghouls and monsters doesn't come close to having the same zing as the first or second offering. Rick Bentley, chicagotribune.com, "'Hotel Transylvania 3' review: Monsters aboard the Love Boat," 12 July 2018 But though Dracula zings again, this third offering in the offbeat look at the world of ghouls and monsters doesn’t come close to having the same zing as the first or second. Rick Bentley, Detroit Free Press, "Review: ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ is a little short on zing," 12 July 2018 Messi, desperate to atone for his spot-kick failure, rifled a shot from just atop the edge of the box, presumably aiming for the top-left corner, but the ball zinged just wide. SI.com, "Argentina 1-1 Iceland: Messi and Co Stunned by Steely Icelandic Side in World Cup Opener," 16 June 2018 Thirty minutes later, a cocaine-like rush zinged through my upper body. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "I Hacked My Body So You Don't Have To," 25 June 2018 But a healthy Cam Newton — who missed all of minicamp and a lot of training camp last year following shoulder surgery — figures to enjoy zinging the ball around in Turner’s vertical stretch passing game. Joseph Person, charlotteobserver, "5 accomplishments that would signal success in this week's Carolina Panthers minicamp," 11 June 2018

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


1911, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1920, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for zing



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Statistics for zing

Last Updated

6 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for zing

The first known use of zing was in 1911

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More Definitions for zing



English Language Learners Definition of zing

 (Entry 1 of 2)

informal : a quality that makes something exciting, interesting, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of zing (Entry 2 of 2)

: to move very quickly and make a humming sound
US, informal : to insult or criticize (someone) in a sharp, clever, or playful way


\ ˈziŋ How to pronounce zing (audio) \

Kids Definition of zing

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a high-pitched humming sound the zing of an arrow
2 : a lively or energetic quality It's a musical with lots of zing.
3 : a sharp or spicy flavor Hot peppers give the chili zing.


zinged; zinging

Kids Definition of zing (Entry 2 of 2)

: to move very quick with a high-pitched humming sound Bullets and metal pieces zinged by, ripping holes in the sails …— Jon Scieszka, The Not-So-Jolly Roger

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More from Merriam-Webster on zing

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with zing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for zing

Spanish Central: Translation of zing

Nglish: Translation of zing for Spanish Speakers

Comments on zing

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


not constant or steady

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