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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 earrings
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Madame Carpentier's earrings were two great pearls, worth at least two hundred dollars.

    Strange True Stories of Louisiana George Washington Cable
  • And standing before the mirror at that moment, she caught sight of her earrings.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • The earrings came nearer to curing Olga than all Dr. Forsyths medicine.

  • He wanted its earrings—they were contraband of war, I suppose.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • Therewith she ran to her room, and in a few moments returned with a pair of earrings.

    Debts of Honor Maurus Jkai
British Dictionary definitions for earrings


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 earrings



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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earrings in the Bible

rings properly for the ear (Gen. 35:4; Num. 31:50; Ezek. 16:12). In Gen. 24:47 the word means a nose-jewel, and is so rendered in the Revised Version. In Isa. 3:20 the Authorized Version has "ear-rings," and the Revised Version "amulets," which more correctly represents the original word (lehashim), which means incantations; charms, thus remedies against enchantment, worn either suspended from the neck or in the ears of females. Ear-rings were ornaments used by both sexes (Ex. 32:2).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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