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[eer-ring, -ing] /ˈɪərˌrɪŋ, -ɪŋ/
an ornament worn on or hanging from the lobe of the ear.
Origin of earring
before 1000; Middle English erering, Old English ēarhring. See ear1, ring1
Related forms
earringed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for earring
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Men wear, passed through the lobe of the ear, an earring with malachite ornamentations, and often with an additional long pendant.

    In the Forbidden Land Arnold Henry Savage Landor
  • It seemed clear enough that the earring was not in the house.

  • The earring and the theft—her own theft—flashed into her memory together.

  • Why, when I saw only the one earring in, it struck my eye at once.

  • Were they to do so, and it were to come out that the earring had been returned, they would know I had done it.

  • But, on the other side, there was the assertion of the Islip people; and there was the earring.

  • Some pierced their ears with a thorn, and wore a small flower for an earring; but this was not very common.

  • He carried off the earring; and we had never seen him, or it, from that day to this.

  • Because,” answered the boy, “I cannot find an earring which the Princess lost as we were going through the forest together.

    Philippine Folk Tales Mabel Cook Cole
British Dictionary definitions for earring


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
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Word Origin and History for earring

Old English earhring, from ear (n.1) + hring (see ring (n.)). Also earspinl. 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, 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
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