Know why cattywampus was trending last week?


[ping] /pɪŋ/
verb (used without object)
to produce a sharp sound like that of a bullet striking a sheet of metal.
a pinging sound.
Origin of ping
1850-55; imitative Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for ping
  • Between such evidence and these exclusionary advocates up on their soapbox, one's equity radar begins to ping.
  • It may be some comfort that, in a long and illustrious career, this incident will be but a ping of regret on your register.
  • Consider the political currency available to managers who ping off of the student catering you describe.
  • Please ping me if you want an accurate picture of the aviation fuel space.
  • Others were light-the scraping of the gate on its hinges, the ping of the leaky pump against the metal bucket.
  • Close your eyes and try to locate a rhythm in the ping-ping-ping of the slot machines.
  • It stretches credulity to get into a serious argument about which country is better at curling, diving, ping pong and badminton.
  • Some of the regular dinosaurs tend to knock or ping when accelerating and they were advised to switch to premium.
  • Sending out a ping is a dead giveaway-literally so, in time of war.
  • Tugboats were the great go-betweens of the ship- ping industry, connecting ocean to port and port to river.
British Dictionary definitions for ping


a short high-pitched resonant sound, as of a bullet striking metal or a sonar echo
(computing) a system for testing whether internet systems are responding and how long in milliseconds it takes them to respond
(intransitive) to make such a noise
(transitive) (computing) to send a test message to (a computer or server) in order to check whether it is responding or how long it takes it to respond
Derived Forms
pinging, adjective
Word Origin
C19: of imitative origin
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
Cite This Source
Contemporary definitions for ping

to get someone's attention with a sharp sound or other form of communication

Usage Note

informal's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for ping

1835, imitative of the sound of a bullet striking something sharply. Meaning "short, high-pitched electronic pulse" is attested from 1943. As a verb from 1855; in computer sense is from at least 1981. Related: Pinged; pinging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for ping



To get someone's attention with a sharp sound or other form of communication: ping my accountant with April 15 getting close

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
ping in Technology
networking, tool
(ping, originally contrived to match submariners' term for the sound of a returned sonar pulse) A program written in 1983 by Mike Muuss (who also wrote TTCP) used to test reachability of destinations by sending them one, or repeated, ICMP echo requests and waiting for replies. Since ping works at the IP level its server-side is often implemented entirely within the operating system kernel and is thus the lowest level test of whether a remote host is alive. Ping will often respond even when higher level, TCP-based services cannot.
Sadly, Mike Muuss was killed in a road accident on 2000-11-20.
The term is also used as a verb: "Ping host X to see if it is up."
The Unix command "ping" can be used to do this and to measure round-trip delays.
The funniest use of "ping" was described in January 1991 by Steve Hayman on the Usenet group He was trying to isolate a faulty cable segment on a TCP/IP Ethernet hooked up to a NeXT machine. Using the sound recording feature on the NeXT, he wrote a script that repeatedly invoked ping, listened for an echo, and played back the recording on each returned packet. This caused the machine to repeat, over and over, "Ping ... ping ... ping ..." as long as the network was up. He turned the volume to maximum, ferreted through the building with one ear cocked, and found a faulty tee connector in no time.
Ping did not stand for "Packet InterNet Groper", Dave Mills offered this backronym expansion some time later.
See also ACK, ENQ, traceroute, spray.
The Story of the Ping Program (
Unix manual page: ping(8).
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
Cite This Source
Related Abbreviations for ping


Packet Internet Groper
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for ping

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for ping

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with ping

Nearby words for ping