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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
  • 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


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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