Meaning of RING in English


I. ring 1 S1 W2 /rɪŋ/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Sense 1-2, 5, 8-11: Language: Old English ; Origin: hring ]

[ Sense 3-4, 6-7: Date: 1500-1600 ; Origin: ⇨ ↑ ring 1 ]

1 . JEWELLERY a piece of jewellery that you wear on your finger:

a diamond ring

a plain silver ring

⇨ engagement ring at ↑ engagement (1), ⇨ ↑ signet ring , ↑ wedding ring


a) an object in the shape of a circle:

a rubber ring for children to go swimming with

onion rings

a key ring

⇨ ↑ napkin ring

b) a circular line or mark

ring around

She left a dirty ring around the bath.

ring round British English :

a ring round the moon

c) a group of people or things arranged in a circle

ring of

A ring of armed troops surrounded the building.

The city was overlooked by a ring of high-rise buildings.

3 . give somebody a ring British English informal to make a telephone call to someone:

I’ll give you a ring later in the week.

4 . BELLS the sound made by a bell or the act of making this sound:

a ring at the doorbell

5 . CRIMINALS a group of people who illegeally control a business or criminal activity:

Are you aware that a drugs ring is being operated in the club?

Secret files reveal an Oxford spy ring.

6 . have the/a ring of something if a statement or argument has a ring of truth, confidence etc, it seems as if it has this quality:

His explanation has the ring of truth.

7 . have a familiar ring if something has a familiar ring, you feel that you have heard it before:

His voice had a strangely familiar ring.

8 . run rings around somebody informal to be able to do something much better than someone else can:

I’m sure you can run rings round him.

9 . COOKING British English one of the circular areas on top of a ↑ cooker that is heated by gas or electricity ⇨ hob SYN burner American English :

a gas ring

10 . SPORT

a) a small square area surrounded by ropes, where people ↑ box or ↑ wrestle ⇨ ↑ ringside

b) the ring the sport of ↑ boxing :

He retired from the ring at 34.

11 . ENTERTAINMENT a large circular area surrounded by seats at a ↑ circus

• • •


■ verbs

▪ wear a ring

He wore a gold ring on his right hand.

▪ have a ring on

They saw I didn’t have a wedding ring on.


▪ a gold/silver ring

She took off her gold ring.

▪ a diamond/sapphire etc ring

On her right hand was a huge diamond ring.

▪ a heavy ring

Her fingers were clustered with heavy rings.

▪ a plain ring

She wore a plain gold ring.

▪ a wedding ring

He gave her a diamond wedding ring on their wedding day.

▪ an engagement ring

I noticed that she had an engagement ring on her finger.

▪ an eternity ring (=a ring given as a sign of lasting love, especially one with stones all round it)

▪ a signet ring (=a ring that has a letter or symbol cut into a flat surface)

II. ring 2 S1 W2 /rɪŋ/ BrE AmE verb ( past tense rang /ræŋ/, past participle rung /rʌŋ/)

1 . BELL

a) [intransitive and transitive] to make a bell make a sound, especially to call someone’s attention to you or to call someone to help you:

I rang the doorbell but no one came.

ring for

The sign said, ‘Ring for service’.

Instead of ringing for the maid, she made the tea herself.

b) [intransitive] if a bell rings, it makes a noise:

The bell rang for the end of break.


a) [intransitive and transitive] British English to make a telephone call to someone SYN call , phone :

I was going to ring you but I don’t have your number.

ring for

Sally rang for a taxi.

b) [intransitive] if a telephone rings, it makes a sound to show that someone is telephoning you:

The phone hasn’t stopped ringing all day.

3 . SOUNDS [intransitive]

a) if your ears ring, they make a continuous sound that only you can hear, after you have been somewhere very noisy or heard a loud sound:

The explosion made our ears ring.

b) literary if a place rings with a sound, it is full of that sound

ring with

The whole room rang with their laughter.

4 . ring a bell informal if something rings a bell, it reminds you of something, but you cannot remember exactly what it is:

Her name rings a bell but I can’t remember her face.

5 . not ring true if something does not ring true, you do not believe it, even though you are not sure why:

It was a possible explanation, but it didn’t quite ring true.

6 . ring the changes British English to make changes to something, not because it needs changing but just in order to make it more interesting, more attractive etc:

Choose a variety of foods and ring the changes with meals.

7 . ring hollow if something that someone says rings hollow, you do not feel that it is true or sincere:

Assurances that things have changed ring hollow in many ears.

8 . ring in your ears if a sound or remark rings in your ears, you continue to remember it very clearly, exactly as it sounded, after it has finished:

He left Washington with the president’s praises ringing in his ears.

ring (somebody) back phrasal verb British English

to telephone someone again, or to telephone someone because you were not available when they telephoned you SYN call (somebody) back :

I’ll ring back as soon as I find out anything.

John rang, and he wants you to ring him back.

ring in phrasal verb

1 . British English to telephone the place where you work:

Jane’s rung in to say she’ll be late.

He rang in sick (=telephoned to say he was ill) every morning for a week.

2 . ring in the New Year to celebrate the beginning of the New Year

ring off phrasal verb British English

to end a telephone call ⇨ hang up :

He rang off without giving his name.

ring out phrasal verb

1 . a voice, bell etc that rings out is loud and clear:

The sound of a shot rang out.

2 . ring out the Old Year to celebrate the end of the year

ring round (somebody) phrasal verb British English

to make telephone calls to a group of people, in order to organize something, find out information etc:

I’ll ring round to see whether anyone’s interested in coming with us.

She rang round all the agencies.

ring up phrasal verb

1 . British English to telephone someone SYN call (somebody) up

ring somebody ↔ up

I’ll ring the manager up tomorrow.

I rang up and made an appointment.

2 . ring something ↔ up to press buttons on a ↑ cash register to record how much money is being put inside:

The cashier rang up £300 by mistake.

• • •


▪ phone to speak to someone by telephone. Phone is more common in British English than American English:

I’ll phone you tomorrow.

▪ call to phone someone. Call is used in both British and American English:

One of the neighbors called the police.


Call me later.

▪ ring British English spoken to phone someone. Ring is more informal than phone or call :

I can ring her at the office tomorrow.

▪ give somebody a call ( also give somebody a ring ) spoken to phone someone:

If you ever come to Seattle, give me a call.


I’ll give the hospital a ring and see how he is.

▪ telephone formal to phone someone:

Angry listeners telephoned the BBC to complain.

▪ Skype /skaɪp/ trademark to make a telephone call using special software that allows you to make calls over the Internet:

I Skyped her last night and we spoke for hours.

III. ring 3 BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle ringed ) [transitive]

1 . to surround something:

Thousands of people ringed the court building to demand the release of Mr Cox.

be ringed with something

Her eyes were ringed with stiff black lashes.

2 . British English to draw a circular mark around something SYN circle :

Ring the mistakes in red.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.