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verb (used with object), wrung, wring·ing.
  1. to twist forcibly: He wrung the chicken's neck.
  2. to twist and compress, or compress without twisting, in order to force out water or other liquid (often followed by out): to wring clothes.
  3. to extract or expel by twisting or compression (usually followed by out or from).
  4. to affect painfully by or as if by some contorting or compressing action.
  5. to clasp tightly with or without twisting: to wring one's hands in pain.
  6. to force (usually followed by off) by twisting.
  7. to extract or get by forceful effort or means (often followed by out).
verb (used without object), wrung, wring·ing.
  1. to perform the action of wringing something.
  2. to writhe, as in anguish.
  1. a wringing; forcible twist or squeeze.

Origin of wring

before 900; Middle English wringen, Old English wringan; cognate with German ringen to wrestle
Related formsout·wring, verb (used with object), out·wrung, out·wring·ing.
Can be confusedring wring
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for wring

Contemporary Examples of wring

Historical Examples of wring

  • Possibly should he retain her he could wring a handsome ransom from the white man.

    The Monster Men

    Edgar Rice Burroughs

  • No bribe—and he was shameless in his offers—could wring more than that from her.

  • She thought of the meeting at the Festa, and longed to wring from Gaspare his secret.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • If you don't pay him every red copper, down on the nail, he'll wring you dry.

    Cy Whittaker's Place

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Were he taken they'd wring out of him whatever happened to be in him.

    The Lion's Skin

    Rafael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for wring


verb wrings, wringing or wrung
  1. (often foll by out) to twist and compress to squeeze (a liquid) from (cloth, etc)
  2. (tr) to twist forciblywring its neck
  3. (tr) to clasp and twist (one's hands), esp in anguish
  4. (tr) to distresswring one's heart
  5. (tr) to grip (someone's hand) vigorously in greeting
  6. (tr) to obtain by or as if by forceful meanswring information out of
  7. (intr) to writhe with or as if with pain
  8. wringing wet soaking; drenched
  1. an act or the process of wringing

Word Origin for wring

Old English wringan; related to Old High German ringan (German wringen), Gothic wrungō snare. See wrangle, wrong
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 wring

Old English wringan "press, strain, wring, twist" (class III strong verb; past tense wrang, past participle wrungen), from Proto-Germanic *wrenganan (cf. Old English wringen "to wring, press out," Old Frisian wringa, Middle Dutch wringhen, Dutch wringen "to wring," Old High German ringan "to move to and fro, to twist," German ringen "to wrestle"), from PIE *wrengh- "to turn," nasalized variant of *wergh- "to turn," from root *wer- (3) "to turn, bend" (see versus).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper