noun Informal.

a quick, witty, or pointed remark or retort: During the debate she made a couple of zingers that deflated the opposition.
a surprise, shock, or piece of electrifying news: The president's resignation was a real zinger.
a person or thing that has vitality or animation or produces startling results.

Origin of zinger

First recorded in 1950–55; zing + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for zinger

Contemporary Examples of zinger

  • Romney must have been anticipating the sentimental gesture, though, because it prompted his first zinger of the night.

    The Daily Beast logo
    WATCH VIDEO: Best Moments From the First Presidential Debate

    Jake Heller, Ben Teitelbaum

    October 4, 2012

  • The zinger that never came was: “What other insider trading do you suspect David Sokol might have done?”

    The Daily Beast logo
    Buffett's Damage Control

    Allan Dodds Frank

    May 1, 2011

  • Naturally, Kimmel used the opportunity to fire off a zinger about Leno's refusing to give up his show to O'Brien.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Comedians Laugh as Leno Sinks

    Gina Piccalo

    October 24, 2010

  • She chuckles to herself, the way she frequently does after spitting out a zinger; a kind of personal touché.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Real Joan Rivers

    Nicole LaPorte

    January 26, 2010

Word Origin and History for zinger

"cruel quip," 1970, from zing + -er (1). Earlier it was baseball slang for "fastball" (by 1957).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper