Meaning of STING in English


/ stɪŋ; NAmE / verb , noun

■ verb ( stung , stung / stʌŋ; NAmE /)


( of an insect or plant ) to touch your skin or make a very small hole in it so that you feel a sharp pain :

[ vn ]

I was stung on the arm by a wasp.

[ v ]

Be careful of the nettles—they sting!


to feel, or to make sb feel, a sharp pain in a part of their body :

[ v ]

I put some antiseptic on the cut and it stung for a moment.

My eyes were stinging from the smoke.

[ vn ]

Tears stung her eyes.

➡ note at hurt


[ vn ] sting sb (to / into sth) | sting sb (into doing sth) to make sb feel angry or upset :

He was stung by their criticism.

Their cruel remarks stung her into action.

They launched a stinging attack on the government.


[ vn ] [ often passive ] sting sb (for sth) ( informal ) to charge sb more money than they expected; to charge sb who did not expect to pay :

I got stung for a £100 meal.


- sting sb for sth

■ noun


( NAmE also sting·er ) [ C ] the sharp pointed part of an insect or creature that can go into the skin leaving a small, painful and sometimes poisonous wound :

the sting of a bee

The scorpion has a sting in its tail.

—picture at scorpion


[ C ] a wound that is made when an insect, a creature or a plant stings you :

A wasp or bee sting is painful but not necessarily serious.


[ C , U ] any sharp pain in your body or mind :

the sting of salt in a wound

He smiled at her, trying to take the sting out of his words (= trying to make the situation less painful or difficult) .


[ C ] ( NAmE ) a clever secret plan by the police to catch criminals :

a sting operation to catch heroin dealers in Detroit


[ C ] ( especially NAmE ) a clever plan by criminals to cheat people out of a lot of money


- a sting in the tail



Old English sting (noun), stingan (verb), of Germanic origin.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.