Pronunciation: (sting), [key]
— v., n. stung stang stung sting&syling
- 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.
- to cheat or take advantage of, esp. 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.
- a glandular hair on certain plants, as nettles, that emits an irritating fluid.
- any of various sharp-pointed, often venom-bearing organs of insects and other animals capable of inflicting painful or dangerous wounds.
- Seeconfidence 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.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.