Nearby words

  1. rind,
  2. rinderpest,
  3. rinehart,
  4. rinehart, mary roberts,
  5. rinforzando,
  6. ring a bell,
  7. ring abscess,
  8. ring back,
  9. ring binder,
  10. ring buoy


Origin of ring

before 900; Middle English ringen, Old English hringan; cognate with Old Norse hringja, German ringen

Related formsring·ing·ly, adverbring·ing·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for ring in

ring in

verb (adverb)

(intr) mainly British to report to someone by telephone
(tr) to accompany the arrival of with bells (esp in the phrase ring in the new year)
(tr) Australian to substitute (a horse) fraudulently for another horse in a race
(tr) Australian and NZ informal to recruit or include (a person)

noun ring-in

Australian informal a horse that serves as a substitute
Australian and NZ informal a person or thing that is not normally a member of a particular group; outsider




a circular band usually of a precious metal, esp gold, often set with gems and worn upon the finger as an adornment or as a token of engagement or marriage
any object or mark that is circular in shape
a circular path or courseto run around in a ring
a group of people or things standing or arranged so as to form a circlea ring of spectators
an enclosed space, usually circular in shape, where circus acts are performed
a square apron or raised platform, marked off by ropes, in which contestants box or wrestle
the ring the sport of boxing
the field of competition or rivalry
throw one's hat in the ring to announce one's intention to be a candidate or contestant
a group of people usually operating illegally and covertlya drug ring; a paedophile ring
(esp at country fairs) an enclosure, often circular, where horses, cattle, and other livestock are paraded and auctioned
an area reserved for betting at a racecourse
a circular strip of bark cut from a tree or branch, esp in order to kill it
a single turn in a spiral
geometry the area of space lying between two concentric circles
maths a set that is subject to two binary operations, addition and multiplication, such that the set is an Abelian group under addition and is closed under multiplication, this latter operation being associative
botany short for annual ring
Also called: closed chain chem a closed loop of atoms in a molecule
astronomy any of the thin circular bands of small bodies orbiting a giant planet, esp SaturnSee also Saturn 2 (def. 1)
run rings around informal to be greatly superior to; outclass completely

verb rings, ringing or ringed (tr)

to surround with or as if with or form a ring; encircle
to mark (a bird) with a ring or clip for subsequent identification
to fit a ring in the nose of (a bull, pig, etc) so that it can be led easily
Also: ringbark
  1. to cut away a circular strip of bark from (a tree or branch) in order to kill it
  2. to cut a narrow or partial ring from (the trunk of a tree) in order to check or prevent vigorous growth
Australian and NZ to be the fastest shearer in a shearing shed (esp in the phrase ring the shed)

Word Origin for ring

Old English hring; related to Old Norse hringr



verb rings, ringing, rang or rung

to emit or cause to emit a sonorous or resonant sound, characteristic of certain metals when struck
to cause (a bell) to emit a ringing sound by striking it once or repeatedly or (of a bell) to emit such a sound
  1. (tr)to cause (a large bell, esp a church bell) to emit a ringing sound by pulling on a rope that is attached to a wheel on which the bell swings back and forth, being sounded by a clapper inside itCompare chime 1 (def. 6)
  2. (intr)(of a bell) to sound by being swung in this way
(intr) (of a building, place, etc) to be filled with sound; echothe church rang with singing
(intr foll by for) to call by means of a bell, buzzer, etcto ring for the butler
Also: ring up mainly British to call (a person) by telephone
(tr) to strike or tap (a coin) in order to assess its genuineness by the sound produced
(intr) (of the ears) to have or give the sensation of humming or ringing
(intr) electronics (of an electric circuit) to produce a damped oscillatory wave after the application of a sharp input transition
slang to change the identity of (a stolen vehicle) by using the licence plate, serial number, etc, of another, usually disused, vehicle
ring a bell to sound familiar; remind one of something, esp indistinctly
ring down the curtain
  1. to lower the curtain at the end of a theatrical performance
  2. (foll by on)to put an end (to)
ring false to give the impression of being false
ring the bell
  1. to do, say, or be the right thing
  2. to reach the pinnacle of success or happiness
ring the changes to vary the manner or performance of an action that is often repeated
ring true to give the impression of being truethat story doesn't ring true


the act of or a sound made by ringing
a sound produced by or suggestive of a bell
any resonant or metallic sound, esp one sustained or re-echoedthe ring of trumpets
informal, mainly British a telephone callhe gave her a ring last night
the complete set of bells in a tower or belfrya ring of eight bells See peal 1 (def. 3)
an inherent quality or characteristichis explanation has the ring of sincerity
electronics the damped oscillatory wave produced by a circuit that rings

Word Origin for ring

Old English hringan; related to Old High German hringen Old Norse hringja


Rang and sang are the correct forms of the past tenses of ring and sing, although rung and sung are still heard informally and dialectally: he rung (rang) the bell

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ring in
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for ring in




A circular object, form, or arrangement with a vacant circular center.
The area between two concentric circles; annulus.
A group of atoms linked by bonds that may be represented graphically in circular or triangular form.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for ring in



A set of elements subject to the operations of addition and multiplication, in which the set is an abelian group under addition and associative under multiplication and in which the two operations are related by distributive laws.
A group of atoms linked by bonds that may be represented graphically in circular or triangular form. Benzene, for example, contains a ring of six carbon atoms. All cyclic compounds contain one or more rings. See annulus.
See growth ring.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with ring in


In addition to the idioms beginning with ring

  • ring a bell
  • ring down the curtain on
  • ring false
  • ring one's chimes
  • ringside seat
  • ring the changes
  • ring true
  • ring up

also see:

  • brass ring
  • give someone a ring
  • have a familiar ring
  • run rings around
  • three-ring circus
  • throw one's hat in the ring
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.