follow Dictionary.com

Get the details behind our redesign

earring

[eer-ring, -ing] /ˈɪərˌrɪŋ, -ɪŋ/
noun
1.
an ornament worn on or hanging from the lobe of the ear.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English erering, Old English ēarhring. See ear1, ring1
Related forms
earringed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for earring
  • Another researcher described a chimpanzee using a shell first as a cigarette, then as an earring.
  • Someone had reached into the bus to steal her earring, tearing her ear in the process.
  • He wears a gold earring in each ear, and heavy rings on his fingers.
  • He made the sound again, looking at his boiled hand, the earring.
  • When a scruffy petty criminal discovers the lost earring at a gas station and tries it on, the two exchange bodies.
  • And one more touch: he wears an earring in his left ear.
  • The robber also wore a diamond earring in his left ear.
  • The children's jewelry was sold in a variety of sets that contained necklace, bracelet and earring or ring combinations.
  • But when it was imaged with neutrons, underneath was a piece of jewelry, probably an earring.
  • On the left side of the head, a gold earring was found but no other identifiable items were located.
British Dictionary definitions for earring

earring

/ˈɪəˌrɪŋ/
noun
1.
an ornament for the ear, usually clipped onto the lobe or fastened through a hole pierced in the lobe
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
Word Origin and History for earring
earring
O.E. earhring, from ear + hring (see ring (n.)). Now including any sort of ornament in the ear; the pendants were originally ear-drops (1720).
"The two groups which had formerly a near monopoly on male earrings were Gypsies and sailors. Both has the usual traditions about eyesight [see ear (1)], but it was also said that sailors' earrings would save them from drowning, while others argued that should a sailor be drowned and washed up on some foreign shore, his gold earrings would pay for a proper Christian burial." ["Dictionary of English Folklore"]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for earring

a personal ornament worn pendent from the ear, usually suspended by means of a ring or hook passing through a pierced hole in the lobe of the ear or, in modern times, often by means of a screwed clip on the lobe. The impulse to decorate or to modify the appearance of the ear seems to be almost universal. In general, usage appears to call for wearing earrings in pairs, the two ornaments in all respects resembling each other; but a single earring has sometimes been worn. (The single earring was especially popular in Europe during the Renaissance and Baroque period.)

Learn more about earring with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for earring

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for earring

8
10
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with earring