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

  • transitive verb To twist, squeeze, or compress, especially so as to extract liquid. Often used with out.
  • transitive verb To extract (liquid) by twisting or compressing. Often used with out.
  • transitive verb To wrench or twist forcibly or painfully.
  • transitive verb To clasp and twist or squeeze (one's hands), as in distress.
  • transitive verb To clasp firmly and shake (another's hand), as in congratulation.
  • transitive verb To cause distress to; affect with painful emotion.
  • transitive verb To obtain or extract by applying force or pressure.
  • noun The act or an instance of wringing.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To twist in the hands, as something flexible; twist or flex forcibly: as, to wring clothes after washing, to force out the water; to wring a friend's hand in cordial greeting: often with out.
  • To twist out of place, shape, or relation; bend or strain tortuously or twistingly: as, to wring a mast; to wring the neck of a chicken.
  • To turn or divert the course or purport of; distort; pervert.
  • To affect painfully by or as if by some contorting or compressing action or effect; torture; rack; distress; pain.
  • To force out, as a fluid, by twisting or contorting pressure; extract or obtain by or as if by a squeezing flexure; hence, to squeeze out in any way; extort: as, to wring water from clothes; to wring a reluctant consent from a person: often with out.
  • To free from a liquid by twisting or compression: as, to wring out clothes.
  • To writhe; twist about, as with anguish; squirm; suffer torture.
  • To pinch; pain.
  • To force one's way by pressure.
  • noun A wringer or presser; a wine-press or cider-press.
  • noun Action expressive of anguish; writhing.

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

  • intransitive verb To writhe; to twist, as with anguish.
  • noun obsolete A writhing, as in anguish; a twisting; a griping.
  • transitive verb To twist and compress; to turn and strain with violence; to writhe; to squeeze hard; to pinch.
  • transitive verb Hence, to pain; to distress; to torment; to torture.
  • transitive verb To distort; to pervert; to wrest.
  • transitive verb To extract or obtain by twisting and compressing; to squeeze or press (out); hence, to extort; to draw forth by violence, or against resistance or repugnance; -- usually with out or form.
  • transitive verb To subject to extortion; to afflict, or oppress, in order to enforce compliance.
  • transitive verb (Naut.) To bend or strain out of its position.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To squeeze or twist tightly so that liquid is forced out.
  • verb To obtain by force.
  • verb To hold tightly and press or twist.

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

  • verb twist and press out of shape
  • noun a twisting squeeze
  • verb obtain by coercion or intimidation
  • verb twist and compress, as if in pain or anguish
  • verb twist, squeeze, or compress in order to extract liquid


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

[Middle English wringen, from Old English wringan; see wer- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English wringan.


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