[ sling ]
See synonyms for sling on
  1. a device for hurling stones or other missiles that consists, typically, of a short strap with a long string at each end and that is operated by placing the missile in the strap, and, holding the ends of the strings in one hand, whirling the instrument around in a circle and releasing one of the strings to discharge the missile.

  1. a bandage used to suspend or support an injured part of the body, commonly a bandage suspended from the neck to support an injured arm or hand.

  2. a strap, band, or the like, forming a loop by which something is suspended or carried, as a strap attached to a rifle and passed over the shoulder.

  3. an act or instance of slinging.

  4. a rope, chain, net, etc., for hoisting freight or for holding it while being hoisted.

  5. Nautical.

    • a chain for supporting a hoisting yard.

    • slings, the area of a hoisting yard to which such chains are attached; the middle of a hoisting yard.

verb (used with object),slung, sling·ing.
  1. to throw, cast, or hurl; fling, as from the hand.

  2. to place in or secure with a sling to raise or lower.

  1. to raise, lower, etc., by such means.

  2. to hang by a sling or place so as to swing loosely: to sling a rifle over one's shoulder.

  3. to suspend: to sling a hammock between two trees.

Idioms about sling

  1. sling hash, Slang. to work as a waiter or waitress, especially at a lunch counter or cheap restaurant.

Origin of sling

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English (verb) slyngen, from Old Norse slyngva “to sling, fling,” cognate with Old English slingan “to wind, twist”; (noun) Middle English, perhaps derivative of the verb, though the sense “strap, hoist” may be of distinct origin

Other words for sling

Words that may be confused with sling

Other definitions for sling (2 of 2)

[ sling ]

  1. an iced alcoholic drink, typically containing gin, water, sugar, and lemon or lime juice.

Origin of sling

An Americanism dating back to 1785–95; of uncertain origin Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use sling in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for sling (1 of 2)


/ (slɪŋ) /

  1. a simple weapon consisting of a loop of leather, etc, in which a stone is whirled and then let fly

  2. a rope or strap by which something may be secured or lifted

  1. a rope net swung from a crane, used for loading and unloading cargo

  2. nautical

    • a halyard for a yard

    • (often plural) the part of a yard where the sling is attached

  3. med a wide piece of cloth suspended from the neck for supporting an injured hand or arm across the front of the body

  4. a loop or band attached to an object for carrying

  5. mountaineering a loop of rope or tape used for support in belays, abseils, etc

  6. the act of slinging

verbslings, slinging or slung
  1. (tr) to hurl with or as if with a sling

  2. to attach a sling or slings to (a load, etc)

  1. (tr) to carry or hang loosely from or as if from a sling: to sling washing from the line

  2. informal to throw

  3. (intr) Australian informal to pay a part of one's wages or profits as a bribe or tip

Origin of sling

C13: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse slyngva to hurl, Old High German slingan

Derived forms of sling

  • slinger, noun

British Dictionary definitions for sling (2 of 2)


/ (slɪŋ) /

  1. a mixed drink with a spirit base, usually sweetened

Origin of sling

C19: of uncertain origin

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with sling


In addition to the idioms beginning with sling

  • sling hash
  • sling mud at

also see:

  • ass in a sling

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.