from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To pierce or wound painfully with a sharp-pointed structure or organ, as that of certain insects.
  • intransitive verb To cause to feel a sharp, smarting pain.
  • intransitive verb To cause to suffer keenly in the mind or feelings.
  • intransitive verb To spur on or stimulate by sharp irritation.
  • intransitive verb Slang To cheat or overcharge.
  • intransitive verb To have, use, or wound with a sharp-pointed structure or organ.
  • intransitive verb To cause a sharp, smarting pain.
  • noun The act of stinging.
  • noun The wound or pain caused by stinging.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A hurtful quality or power.
  • noun A keen stimulus or incitement; a goad or spur.
  • noun Slang A confidence game, especially one implemented by undercover agents to apprehend criminals.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To ‘stick’ for a dinner, a railway fare, or the like.
  • noun A sharp-pointed organ of certain insects and other animals, capable of inflicting by puncture a painful wound.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A stinging hair or spine of the larvæ of various moths, or such organs collectively. See cuts under hag-moth, saddleback, and stinging.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The curved or claw-like telson of the tail of a scorpion, inflicting a serious poisoned wound. See cuts under scorpion and Scorpionida.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun An urticating organ, or such organs collectively, of the jellyfishes, sea-nettles, or other cœlenterates. See cut under nematocyst.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The fine taper of a dog's tail.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Mental pain inflicted, as by a biting or cutting remark or sarcasm; hence, the point of an epigram.
  • noun A stimulus, irritation, or incitement; a nettling or goading; an impulse.
  • 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.
  • noun A pole.
  • noun A pike; a spear.
  • noun An instrument for thatching.
  • noun The mast of a vessel.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To pierce or wound with a sting
  • transitive verb To pain acutely; ; to bite.
  • transitive verb To goad; to incite, as by taunts or reproaches.
  • noun (Zoöl.) 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.
  • noun (Bot.) 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.
  • noun Anything that gives acute pain, bodily or mental
  • noun The thrust of a sting into the flesh; the act of stinging; a wound inflicted by stinging.
  • noun A goad; incitement.
  • noun The point of an epigram or other sarcastic saying.


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 stingan

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English sting


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