Meaning of STING in English


I. ˈstiŋ verb

( stung ˈstəŋ ; or archaic stang ˈstaŋ, -taiŋ ; stung ; stinging ; stings )

Etymology: Middle English stingen, from Old English stingan; akin to Old Norse stinga to sting, stab, Gothic us stangan to pluck out, Greek stachys spike of grain, stochos target, aim, guess

transitive verb


a. : to pierce or wound with a poisonous or irritating process (as a stinger or stinging hair) especially so as to produce an inflammation or lesion

a great aching welt where a mosquito had stung him

specifically : to wound with an ovipositor (as in laying eggs)

destroy the fruit flies before they begin to sting the fruit — Farmer's Weekly (South Africa)

b. : to affect with quick sharp physical pain or smart

driving hail that stung their faces

ginger stings the mouth

smoke … began to sting his eyes — Frank Cameron


a. : to cause to suffer sharp mental pain : pain keenly

sting him with a sharp reproach

had been stung by remorse

b. : to stir or incite by a sharp often painful stimulus : goad

attacks … sting him to a considerable rage — English Digest

his suffering … stung their consciences to action — Times Literary Supplement


a. : to get the better of in a financial dealing : overcharge , cheat

never went again to the store that had stung him

b. slang : to compel to pay : submit a bill to : stick , charge

how much did he sting you for that — J.K.Ewers

intransitive verb

1. : to wound a person or thing with a sting

scorpions sting but snakes bite

an insult that stung and rankled

2. : to feel a keen burning pain or smart

a slap that made his hand sting

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English, from stingan, v.


a. : the act of stinging ; specifically : the thrust of a stinger into the flesh

b. : a wound or pain caused by or as if by stinging

apply wet baking soda to the sting

crying from the sting of a cut

the sting of sarcasm

the quick sting of tears came to her eyes — Edna Ferber

2. : stinger 2

3. : something that causes a keen pain or stimulation of mind : a stinging element (as the point of an epigram), force, quality, or capacity

a smile that took the sting out of his rebuke

practice to put more sting into his bowling at cricket

4. : a thin rod used for mounting a model for testing in a wind tunnel

III. noun

: an elaborate confidence game ; specifically : such a game worked by undercover police in order to trap criminals

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.