a simple past tense and past participle of sing.

Related formshalf-sung, adjectivewell-sung, adjective


[soo ng]


a dynasty in China, a.d. 960–1279, characterized by a high level of achievement in painting, ceramics, and philosophy: overthrown by the Mongols.
Also Song.



verb (used without object), sang or, often, sung; sung; sing·ing.

to utter words or sounds in succession with musical modulations of the voice; vocalize melodically.
to perform a song or voice composition: She promised to sing for us.
to produce melodious sounds, usually high in pitch, as certain birds, insects, etc.: The nightingale sang in the tree.
to compose poetry: Keats sang briefly but gloriously.
to tell about or praise someone or something in verse or song: He sang of the warrior's prowess.
to admit of being sung, as verses: This lyric sings well.
to give out a continuous ringing, whistling, murmuring, burbling, or other euphonious sound, as a teakettle or a brook.
to make a short whistling, ringing, or whizzing sound: The bullet sang past his ear.
(of an electrical amplifying system) to produce an undesired self-sustained oscillation.
to have the sensation of a ringing or humming sound, as the ears.
Slang. to confess or act as an informer; squeal.

verb (used with object), sang or, often, sung; sung; sing·ing.

to utter with musical modulations of the voice, as a song.
to escort or accompany with singing.
to proclaim enthusiastically.
to bring, send, put, etc., with or by singing: She sang the baby to sleep.
to chant or intone: to sing mass.
to tell or praise in verse or song.


the act or performance of singing.
a gathering or meeting of persons for the purpose of singing: a community sing.
a singing, ringing, or whistling sound, as of a bullet.

Verb Phrases

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for sung

Contemporary Examples of sung

Historical Examples of sung

  • Listen to me, and I will show you how the song ought to have been sung.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • But she could not sing as she had sung a little while before.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • It was the ballad she had sung at Christmas—in what different mood!

  • Then Rico fiddled and sung the verse with her, and said again, "Some more."

    Rico and Wiseli

    Johanna Spyri

  • But he did not have the work acted; it was sung in costume with a background of appropriate scenery.


    Edward J. Dent

British Dictionary definitions for sung



the past participle of sing


produced by singinga sung syllable


See ring 2




an imperial dynasty of China (960–1279 ad), notable for its art, literature, and philosophy


verb sings, singing, sang or sung

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


informal an act or performance of singing
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 sung



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