See more synonyms for sang on


verb (used without object), sang or, often, sung; sung; sing·ing.
  1. to utter words or sounds in succession with musical modulations of the voice; vocalize melodically.
  2. to perform a song or voice composition: She promised to sing for us.
  3. to produce melodious sounds, usually high in pitch, as certain birds, insects, etc.: The nightingale sang in the tree.
  4. to compose poetry: Keats sang briefly but gloriously.
  5. to tell about or praise someone or something in verse or song: He sang of the warrior's prowess.
  6. to admit of being sung, as verses: This lyric sings well.
  7. to give out a continuous ringing, whistling, murmuring, burbling, or other euphonious sound, as a teakettle or a brook.
  8. to make a short whistling, ringing, or whizzing sound: The bullet sang past his ear.
  9. (of an electrical amplifying system) to produce an undesired self-sustained oscillation.
  10. to have the sensation of a ringing or humming sound, as the ears.
  11. Slang. to confess or act as an informer; squeal.
verb (used with object), sang or, often, sung; sung; sing·ing.
  1. to utter with musical modulations of the voice, as a song.
  2. to escort or accompany with singing.
  3. to proclaim enthusiastically.
  4. to bring, send, put, etc., with or by singing: She sang the baby to sleep.
  5. to chant or intone: to sing mass.
  6. to tell or praise in verse or song.
  1. the act or performance of singing.
  2. a gathering or meeting of persons for the purpose of singing: a community sing.
  3. a singing, ringing, or whistling sound, as of a bullet.
Verb Phrases
  1. sing out, Informal. to call in a loud voice; shout: They lost their way in the cavern and sang out for help.

Origin of sing

before 900; Middle English singen, Old English singan; cognate with Dutch zingen, German singen, Old Norse syngva, Gothic siggwan
Related formssing·a·ble, adjectivesing·a·bil·i·ty, sing·a·ble·ness, nounsing·ing·ly, adverbmis·sing, verb, mis·sang, mis·sung, mis·sing·ing.un·sing·a·ble, adjective
Can be confusedsign singsingeing singing Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sang

Contemporary Examples of sang

Historical Examples of sang

  • But Hester was a live gospel to them—and most when she sang.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • And then Rico sang the verse and was pleased and said, "Sing some more."

    Rico and Wiseli

    Johanna Spyri

  • Nero, in which Mattheson sang the title part, was a failure.


    Edward J. Dent

  • He listened to solos from Lucia, which Mabel sang at Jane's suggestion.

  • Neither he nor the men to whom he recited or sang would have understood that mood.

    The Book of Old English Ballads

    George Wharton Edwards

British Dictionary definitions for sang


  1. the past tense of sing


See ring 2


  1. a Scot word for song


verb sings, singing, sang or sung
  1. to produce or articulate (sounds, words, a song, etc) with definite and usually specific musical intonation
  2. (when intr, often foll by to) to perform (a song) to the accompaniment (of)to sing to a guitar
  3. (intr foll by of) to tell a story or tale in song (about)I sing of a maiden
  4. (intr foll by to) to address a song (to) or perform a song (for)
  5. (intr) to perform songs for a living, as a professional singer
  6. (intr) (esp of certain birds and insects) to utter calls or sounds reminiscent of music
  7. (when intr, usually foll by of) to tell (something) or give praise (to someone), esp in versethe poet who sings of the Trojan dead
  8. (intr) to make a whining, ringing, or whistling soundthe kettle is singing; the arrow sang past his ear
  9. (intr) (of the ears) to experience a continuous ringing or humming sound
  10. (tr) (esp in church services) to chant or intone (a prayer, psalm, etc)
  11. (tr) to bring to a given state by singingto sing a child to sleep
  12. (intr) slang, mainly US to confess or act as an informer
  13. (intr) Australian (in Aboriginal witchcraft) to bring about a person's death by incantation. The same power can sometimes be used beneficently
  1. informal an act or performance of singing
  2. a ringing or whizzing sound, as of bullets
Derived Formssingable, adjectivesinging, adjective, noun

Word Origin for sing

Old English singan; related to Old Norse syngja to sing, Gothic siggwan, Old High German singan


See ring 2
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 sang

past tense of sing.



Old English singan "to chant, sing, celebrate, or tell in song," also used of birds (class III strong verb; past tense sang, past participle sungen), from Proto-Germanic *sengwan (cf. Old Saxon singan, Old Frisian sionga, Middle Dutch singhen, Dutch zingen, Old High German singan, German singen, Gothic siggwan, Old Norse syngva, Swedish sjunga), from PIE root *sengwh- "to sing, make an incantation." The criminal slang sense of "to confess to authorities" is attested from 1610s.

No related forms in other languages, unless perhaps it is connected to Greek omphe "voice" (especially of a god), "oracle;" and Welsh dehongli "explain, interpret." The typical Indo-European root is represented by Latin canere (see chant (v.)). Other words meaning "sing" derive from roots meaning "cry, shout," but Irish gaibim is literally "take, seize," with sense evolution via "take up" a song or melody.



"act of singing," especially collective, 1850, from sing (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper