from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To pierce or wound painfully with or as if with a sharp-pointed structure or organ, as that of certain insects.
  • transitive v. To cause to feel a sharp, smarting pain by or as if by pricking with a sharp point: smoke stinging our eyes.
  • transitive v. To cause to suffer keenly in the mind or feelings: Those harsh words stung me bitterly.
  • transitive v. To spur on by or as if by sharp irritation.
  • transitive v. Slang To cheat or overcharge.
  • intransitive v. To have, use, or wound with or as if with a sharp-pointed structure or organ, as that of certain insects.
  • intransitive v. To cause or feel a sharp, smarting pain.
  • n. The act of stinging.
  • n. The wound or pain caused by or as if by stinging.
  • n. A sharp, piercing organ or part, often ejecting a venomous secretion, as the modified ovipositor of a bee or wasp or the spine of certain fishes.
  • n. A stinging power, quality, or capacity.
  • n. A keen stimulus or incitement; a goad or spur: the sting of curiosity.
  • n. Slang A complicated confidence game planned and executed with great care, especially an operation organized and implemented by undercover agents to apprehend criminals.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A bump left on the skin after having been stung.
  • n. A bite by an insect.
  • n. A pointed portion of an insect or arachnid used for attack.
  • n. A sharp, localised pain primarily on the epidermis
  • n. A police operation in which the police pretend to be criminals in order to catch a criminal.
  • n. A short percussive phrase played by a drummer to accent the punchline in a comedy show.
  • n. A brief sequence of music used in films, TV as a form of punctuation in a dramatic or comedic scene. In certain videogames stings are used to predict immediate future actions or to illustrate a current tension or mood.
  • n. A support for a wind tunnel model which extends parallel to the air flow.
  • n. The harmful or painful part of something.
  • v. To hurt, usually by introducing poison or a sharp point, or both.
  • v. To bite.
  • v. To hurt, to be in pain.
  • v. To cause harm or pain to.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any sharp organ of offense and defense, especially when connected with a poison gland, and adapted to inflict a wound by piercing; as the caudal sting of a scorpion. The sting of a bee or wasp is a modified ovipositor. The caudal sting, or spine, of a sting ray is a modified dorsal fin ray. The term is sometimes applied to the fang of a serpent. See Illust. of scorpion.
  • n. A sharp-pointed hollow hair seated on a gland which secrets an acrid fluid, as in nettles. The points of these hairs usually break off in the wound, and the acrid fluid is pressed into it.
  • n. Anything that gives acute pain, bodily or mental
  • n. The thrust of a sting into the flesh; the act of stinging; a wound inflicted by stinging.
  • n. A goad; incitement.
  • n. The point of an epigram or other sarcastic saying.
  • transitive v. To pierce or wound with a sting
  • transitive v. To pain acutely; ; to bite.
  • transitive v. To goad; to incite, as by taunts or reproaches.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To pierce; prick; puncture.
  • To impale.
  • To prick severely; give acute pain to by piercing with a sharp point; especially, to pierce and wound with any sharp-pointed weapon supplied with acrid or poisonous fluid, as a fang or sting, with which certain animals and plants are furnished; bite; urticate: as, to be stung by a bee, a scorpion, or a nettle, or by a serpent or a sea-nettle.
  • To pain acutely, as if with a sting; goad: as, a conscience stung with remorse.
  • To stimulate; goad.
  • To have a sting; be capable of wounding with a sting; use the sting: literally or figuratively: as, hornets sting; epigrams often sting; a stinging blow.
  • To give pain or smart; be sharply painful; smart: as, the wound stung for an hour.
  • To ‘stick’ for a dinner, a railway fare, or the like.
  • n. A sharp-pointed organ of certain insects and other animals, capable of inflicting by puncture a painful wound.
  • n. In zoology, specifically— The modified ovipositor of the females of certain insects, as bees, wasps, hornets, and many other Hymenoptera; an aculeus; a terebra. This weapon is generally so constructed as to inflict a poisoned as well as punctured wound, which may become inflamed and very painful or even dangerous; an irritating fluid is injected through the tubular sting when the thrust is given. See cut under Hymenoptera.
  • n. The mouth-parts of various insects which are formed for piercing and sucking, as in the mosquito and other gnats or midges, gadflies, fleas, bedbugs, etc. In these cases the wound is often poisoned. See cuts under gnat and mosquito.
  • n. A stinging hair or spine of the larvæ of various moths, or such organs collectively. See cuts under hag-moth, saddleback, and stinging.
  • n. The falces of spiders, with which these creatures bite—in some cases, as of the katipo or malmignatte, inflicting a very serious or even fatal wound. See cuts under chelicera and falx.
  • n. The curved or claw-like telson of the tail of a scorpion, inflicting a serious poisoned wound. See cuts under scorpion and Scorpionida.
  • n. One of the feet or claws of centipede, which, in the case of some of the larger kinds, of tropical countries, inflict painful and dangerous wounds.
  • n. The poison-fang or venom-tooth of a nocuous serpent; also, in popular misapprehension, the harmless soft forked tongue of any serpent. See cuts under Crotalus and snake.
  • n. A fin-spine of some fishes, capable of wounding. In a few cases such spines are connected with a venom-gland whence poison is injected; in others, as the tail-spines of sting-rays, the large bony sting, several inches long and sometimes jagged, is smeared with a substance which may cause a wound to fester. See cuts under stone-cat, sting-ray.
  • n. An urticating organ, or such organs collectively, of the jellyfishes, sea-nettles, or other cœlenterates. See cut under nematocyst.
  • n. In botany, a sort of sharp-pointed hollow hair, seated upon or connected with a gland which secretes an acrid or poisonous fluid, which, when introduced under the skin, produces a stinging pain. For plants armed with such stings, see cowhage, nettle (with cut), nettle-tree, 2, and tread-softly.
  • n. The fine taper of a dog's tail.
  • n. The operation or effect of a sting; the act of stinging; the usually poisoned punctured wound made by a sting; also, the pain or smart of such a wound.
  • n. Anything, or that in anything, which gives acute pain, or constitutes the principal pain; also, anything which goads to action: as, the sting of hunger; the stings of remorse; the stings of reproach.
  • n. Mental pain inflicted, as by a biting or cutting remark or sarcasm; hence, the point of an epigram.
  • n. A stimulus, irritation, or incitement; a nettling or goading; an impulse.
  • n. A pole.
  • n. A pike; a spear.
  • n. An instrument for thatching.
  • n. The mast of a vessel.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a swindle in which you cheat at gambling or persuade a person to buy worthless property
  • v. saddle with something disagreeable or disadvantageous
  • n. a kind of pain; something as sudden and painful as being stung
  • v. cause a sharp or stinging pain or discomfort
  • v. cause an emotional pain, as if by stinging
  • n. a mental pain or distress
  • v. cause a stinging pain
  • v. deliver a sting to
  • n. a painful wound caused by the thrust of an insect's stinger into skin


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English stingen, from Old English stingan; see stegh- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English sting

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English stingan



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