[ ring ]
See synonyms for ring on Thesaurus.com
    • Also called finger ring . a typically circular band of metal or other durable material, especially one of gold or other precious metal, often set with gems, for wearing on the finger as an ornament, a token of betrothal or marriage, etc.

    • a similar band of metal or other durable material worn as an ornament on another part of the body, such as on the toe or in a piercing.

  1. anything resembling a band or circle: Fluff the napkins and pull them through the napkin rings. He lit his cigarette and blew a smoke ring.

  1. a circular or surrounding line or mark: After a long, sleepless night, there were dark rings around his eyes.

  2. a circular course: A group of us kids were playing one of those games where you have to dance in a ring.

  3. a number of people or things situated in a circle or in an approximately circular arrangement: a ring of stones;a ring of hills;a ring of spectators.

  4. the outside edge of a circular object; rim: When the two coins are compared, there are differences in the color of the brass alloy used for the outer ring.

  5. an enclosed area, often circular, as for a sports contest or exhibition: a circus ring.

  6. an enclosure in which boxing and wrestling matches take place, usually consisting of a square, canvas-covered platform with surrounding ropes that are supported at each corner by posts: It was nearly a year before he recovered from his injuries and was ready to box again, but he's back in the ring tonight.

  7. the sport of boxing; prizefighting: In the heyday of the ring, fighters could make a living at their sport.

  8. (formerly in the United States, now only in Britain) an area in a racetrack where bookmakers take bets.

  9. a group of people cooperating for unethical, illicit, or illegal purposes, such as to control stock-market prices, manipulate politicians, or elude the law: The police busted a ring of smugglers.

  10. a single turn in a spiral or helix or in a spiral course.

  11. Geometry. the area or space between two concentric circles.

  12. a circle of bark cut from around a tree.

  13. Chemistry. a number of atoms so united that they may be graphically represented in cyclic form.: Compare chain (def. 7).

  14. Architecture. rowlock (def. 1).

  15. Nautical. a bowlike or circular piece at the top of an anchor, to which the chain or cable is secured.

  16. Also called spinning ring. Textiles. (in a ring-spinning frame ) a circular track of highly polished steel on which the traveler moves and which twists the yarn by variations in its vertical movement.

  17. Also called ring gauge . a unit of measurement of the diameter of cigars, equal to 1/64 of an inch.

  18. Automotive, Machinery. piston ring.

  19. Mathematics. a set that is closed under the operations of addition and multiplication and that is an Abelian group with respect to addition and an associative semigroup with respect to multiplication and in which the distributive laws relating the two operations hold.

verb (used with object),ringed, ring·ing.
  1. to surround; encircle: The lake is ringed with forest and farmland.

  2. to hem in (animals) by riding or circling about them: The cowboys ringed the cattle they would be driving to market.

  1. (in horseshoes, ringtoss, etc.) to encircle (a stake or peg) with a ring, horseshoe, etc.

  2. to insert a ring through the nose of (an animal).

verb (used without object),ringed, ring·ing.
  1. to form a ring or rings: A crowd of onlookers ringed around the man who had fallen.

  2. to move in a ring or a constantly curving course: The road rings around the mountain.

Idioms about ring

  1. run rings around, to be obviously superior to; surpass; outdo: As an artist, she can run rings around her brother.

  2. throw / toss one's hat in the ring. hat (def. 8).

Origin of ring

First recorded before 900; Middle English; Old English hring; cognate with Dutch, German ring, Old Norse hringr; akin to rank1

synonym study For ring

12. Ring, clique are terms applied with disapproving connotations to groups of persons. Ring suggests a small and intimately related group, combined for selfish and often dishonest purposes: a gambling ring. A clique is a small group that prides itself on its congeniality and exclusiveness: cliques in a school.

Other words for ring

Other words from ring

  • ring·less, adjective
  • ring·like, adjective

Other definitions for ring (2 of 3)

[ ring ]

verb (used without object),rang, rung, ring·ing.
  1. to give forth a clear resonant sound, as a bell when struck: The doorbell rang twice.

  2. to make a given impression on the mind; appear: words that rang false; a story that rings true.

  1. to cause a bell or bells to sound, especially as a summons: Just ring if you need anything.

  2. to sound loudly; be loud or resonant; resound (often followed by out): His brave words rang out.

  3. to be filled with sound; reecho with sound, as a place.

  4. (of the ears) to have the sensation of a continued humming sound.

  5. Chiefly British. to telephone.

verb (used with object),rang, rung, ring·ing.
  1. to cause (a bell or device with a bell) to ring; sound by striking: to ring a bell.

  2. to produce (sound) by or as if by ringing: The bell rang a low tone.

  1. to announce or proclaim, usher in or out, summon, signal, etc., by or as if by the sound of a bell: to ring someone's praises; The bell rang the hour.

  2. to test (a coin or other metal object) by the sound it produces when struck against something.

  3. Chiefly British. to telephone.

  1. a ringing sound, as of a bell or bells: the ring of sleigh bells.

  2. a sound or tone likened to the ringing of a bell: Rings of laughter issued from the school.

  1. any loud sound; sound continued, repeated, or reverberated: the ring of iron upon stone.

  2. a set or peal of bells.

  3. a telephone call: Give me a ring tomorrow.

  4. an act or instance of ringing a bell: No one answered my ring.

  5. a characteristic sound, as of a coin.

  6. the aspect or impression presented by a statement, an action, etc., taken as revealing a specified inherent quality: a ring of assurance in her voice; the ring of truth; a false ring.

Verb Phrases
  1. ring in,

    • to indicate one's arrival at work by punching in on a time clock.

    • Informal. to introduce artfully or fraudulently: to ring in an imposter.

  2. ring off,

    • to terminate a telephone conversation.

    • British Slang. to stop talking.

    • British Slang. to go away.

  1. ring out,

    • to indicate one's departure from work by punching out on a time clock.

    • to make a sound or noise; resound: The church bells rang out.

  2. ring up,

    • to register (the amount of a sale) on a cash register.

    • to accomplish or record:to ring up a series of successes.

    • Chiefly British. to telephone.

Origin of ring

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

Other words for ring

Other words from ring

  • ring·ing·ly, adverb
  • ring·ing·ness, noun

Other definitions for Ring (3 of 3)

[ ring ]

  1. a male given name.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use ring in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ring (1 of 2)


/ (rɪŋ) /

  1. 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

  2. any object or mark that is circular in shape

  1. a circular path or course: to run around in a ring

  2. a group of people or things standing or arranged so as to form a circle: a ring of spectators

  3. an enclosed space, usually circular in shape, where circus acts are performed

  4. a square apron or raised platform, marked off by ropes, in which contestants box or wrestle

  5. the ring the sport of boxing

  6. the field of competition or rivalry

  7. throw one's hat in the ring to announce one's intention to be a candidate or contestant

  8. a group of people usually operating illegally and covertly: a drug ring; a paedophile ring

  9. (esp at country fairs) an enclosure, often circular, where horses, cattle, and other livestock are paraded and auctioned

  10. an area reserved for betting at a racecourse

  11. a circular strip of bark cut from a tree or branch, esp in order to kill it

  12. a single turn in a spiral

  13. geometry the area of space lying between two concentric circles

  14. 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

  15. botany short for annual ring

  16. Also called: closed chain chem a closed loop of atoms in a molecule

  17. astronomy any of the thin circular bands of small bodies orbiting a giant planet, esp Saturn: See also Saturn 2 (def. 1)

  18. run rings around informal to be greatly superior to; outclass completely

verbrings, ringing or ringed (tr)
  1. to surround with or as if with or form a ring; encircle

  2. to mark (a bird) with a ring or clip for subsequent identification

  1. to fit a ring in the nose of (a bull, pig, etc) so that it can be led easily

  2. Also: ringbark

    • to cut away a circular strip of bark from (a tree or branch) in order to kill it

    • to cut a narrow or partial ring from (the trunk of a tree) in order to check or prevent vigorous growth

  3. Australian and NZ to be the fastest shearer in a shearing shed (esp in the phrase ring the shed)

Origin of ring

Old English hring; related to Old Norse hringr

British Dictionary definitions for ring (2 of 2)


/ (rɪŋ) /

verbrings, ringing, rang or rung
  1. to emit or cause to emit a sonorous or resonant sound, characteristic of certain metals when struck

  2. to cause (a bell) to emit a ringing sound by striking it once or repeatedly or (of a bell) to emit such a sound

    • (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 it: Compare chime 1 (def. 6)

    • (intr) (of a bell) to sound by being swung in this way

  1. (intr) (of a building, place, etc) to be filled with sound; echo: the church rang with singing

  2. (intr foll by for) to call by means of a bell, buzzer, etc: to ring for the butler

  3. Also: ring up mainly British to call (a person) by telephone

  4. (tr) to strike or tap (a coin) in order to assess its genuineness by the sound produced

  5. (intr) (of the ears) to have or give the sensation of humming or ringing

  6. (intr) electronics (of an electric circuit) to produce a damped oscillatory wave after the application of a sharp input transition

  7. slang to change the identity of (a stolen vehicle) by using the licence plate, serial number, etc, of another, usually disused, vehicle

  8. ring a bell to sound familiar; remind one of something, esp indistinctly

  9. ring down the curtain

    • to lower the curtain at the end of a theatrical performance

    • (foll by on) to put an end (to)

  10. ring false to give the impression of being false

  11. ring the bell

    • to do, say, or be the right thing

    • to reach the pinnacle of success or happiness

  12. ring the changes to vary the manner or performance of an action that is often repeated

  13. ring true to give the impression of being true: that story doesn't ring true

  1. the act of or a sound made by ringing

  2. a sound produced by or suggestive of a bell

  1. any resonant or metallic sound, esp one sustained or re-echoed: the ring of trumpets

  2. informal, mainly British a telephone call: he gave her a ring last night

  3. the complete set of bells in a tower or belfry: a ring of eight bells See peal 1 (def. 3)

  4. an inherent quality or characteristic: his explanation has the ring of sincerity

  5. electronics the damped oscillatory wave produced by a circuit that rings

Origin of ring

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

usage For ring

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

Scientific definitions for ring


[ rĭng ]

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with ring


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.