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sing

[sing]
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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.
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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.
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noun
  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.
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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.
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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

sing.

  1. singular.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sing

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • They were never allowed to learn any liberal art, or to sing manly songs.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • Shall I sing the chorus now or would you prefer to hear it later.

  • Her mother thought she had never heard her sing so splendidly before.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • "Sing the song you gave us the other night at our house," he said carelessly.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Coax him to let you teach him—and bear with him if he should sing out of tune.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald


British Dictionary definitions for sing

sing

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
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noun
  1. informal an act or performance of singing
  2. a ringing or whizzing sound, as of bullets
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Derived Formssingable, adjectivesinging, adjective, noun

Word Origin

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

xref

See ring 2

sing.

abbreviation for
  1. singular
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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 sing

v.

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.

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n.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper