- a simple past tense and past participle of sting.
- to prick or wound with a sharp-pointed, often venom-bearing organ.
- to affect painfully or irritatingly as a result of contact, as certain plants do: to be stung by nettles.
- to cause to smart or to cause a sharp pain: The blowing sand stung his eyes.
- to cause mental or moral anguish: to be stung with remorse.
- to goad or drive, as by sharp irritation.
- Slang. to cheat or take advantage of, especially to overcharge; soak.
- to use, have, or wound with a sting, as bees.
- to cause a sharp, smarting pain, as some plants, an acrid liquid or gas, or a slap or hit.
- to cause acute mental pain or irritation, as annoying thoughts or one's conscience: The memory of that insult still stings.
- to feel acute mental pain or irritation: He was stinging from the blow to his pride.
- to feel a smarting pain, as from a blow or the sting of an insect.
- an act or an instance of stinging.
- a wound, pain, or smart caused by stinging.
- any sharp physical or mental wound, hurt, or pain.
- anything or an element in anything that wounds, pains, or irritates: to feel the sting of defeat; Death, where is thy sting?
- capacity to wound or pain: Satire has a sting.
- a sharp stimulus or incitement: driven by the sting of jealousy; the sting of ambition.
- Botany. a glandular hair on certain plants, as nettles, that emits an irritating fluid.
- Zoology. any of various sharp-pointed, often venom-bearing organs of insects and other animals capable of inflicting painful or dangerous wounds.
- confidence game.
- an ostensibly illegal operation, as the buying of stolen goods or the bribing of public officials, used by undercover investigators to collect evidence of wrongdoing.
Origin of sting
Related Words for stungbite, inspire, hurt, burn, poke, injure, electrify, needle, wound, prickle, pique, tingle, smart
Examples from the Web for stung
Contemporary Examples of stung
Comforting in that they show that our intended message hit the target and stung.CIA Director’s Trip to Kiev Was a Warning to Putin
Leslie H. Gelb
April 16, 2014
Still, the criticisms have stung, particularly in the age of post-Mitt Romney Mormon mainstreaming.The Core Mormon Teaching the LDS Church Didn’t Jettison
April 7, 2014
Still, as Lennon/McCartney got increasingly arty, Harrison was stung and he began chasing.What It Was Like to Watch the Beatles Become the Beatles—Nik Cohn Remembers
February 9, 2014
Wind from the top, twenty miles an hour, stung his faced, but he was sweating in his white snowsuit.The Ballad of Johnny France
Richard Ben Cramer
January 12, 2014
That stung, and when McConnell approached Reid late Monday to strike a deal, he was rebuffed.John McCain to the Rescue as Senate Deal Breaks Nominee Logjam
July 17, 2013
Historical Examples of stung
It stung her to hear her friends suspected of behaving unjustly.Weighed and Wanting
Napoleon withdrew his hand as sharply as if a bee amid the fruit had stung him.The Boy Life of Napoleon
The point of the jest immediately became a sting, and stung my conscience.The Uncommercial Traveller
If I had only stung him into being a man for a minute I would have abandoned it.Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit
A gust of wind and sleet rushed through the opening and stung their faces.The Inn at the Red Oak
- the past tense and past participle of sting
- Australian slang drunk; intoxicated
- (of certain animals and plants) to inflict a wound on (an organism) by the injection of poison
- to feel or cause to feel a sharp mental or physical pain
- (tr) to goad or incite (esp in the phrase sting into action)
- (tr) informal to cheat, esp by overcharging
- a skin wound caused by the poison injected by certain insects or plants
- pain caused by or as if by the sting of a plant or animal
- a mental pain or panga sting of conscience
- a sharp pointed organ, such as the ovipositor of a wasp, by which poison can be injected into the prey
- the ability to stinga sharp sting in his criticism
- something as painful or swift of action as a stingthe sting of death
- a sharp stimulus or incitement
- botany another name for stinging hair
- slang a swindle or fraud
- slang a trap set up by the police to entice a person to commit a crime and thereby produce evidence
- sting in the tail an unexpected and unpleasant ending
Word Origin for sting
Old English stingan "to prick with a small point" (of weapons, insects, plants, etc.), from Proto-Germanic *stenganan (cf. Old Norse stinga, Old High German stungen "to prick," Gothic us-stagg "to prick out," Old High German stanga, German stange "pole, perch," German stengel "stalk, stem"), from PIE *stengh-, nasalized form of root *stegh- "to prick, sting" (cf. Old English stagga "stag," Greek stokhos "pointed stake"). Specialized to insects late 15c. Slang meaning "to cheat, swindle" is from 1812.
Old English stincg, steng "act of stinging, stinging pain," from the root of sting (v.). Meaning "carefully planned theft or robbery" is attested from 1930; sense of "police undercover entrapment" first attested 1975.
- To pierce or wound painfully with or as if with a sharp-pointed structure or organ, as that of certain insects.
- To introduce venom by stinging.
- To cause to feel a sharp smarting pain by or as if by pricking with a sharp point.
- The act of stinging.
- The wound or pain caused by or as if by stinging.
- The venom apparatus of a stinging organism.
see take the sting out of.