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[zing-er] /ˈzɪŋ ər/
noun, Informal.
a quick, witty, or pointed remark or retort:
During the debate she made a couple of zingers that deflated the opposition.
a surprise, shock, or piece of electrifying news:
The president's resignation was a real zinger.
a person or thing that has vitality or animation or produces startling results.
1950-55; zing + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for zinger
  • It's not much of a zinger, but the crowd claps and laughs.
  • But you have to admit, that was a pretty good zinger.
  • He'd ask a reverent question, she'd laser him a suspicious look, waiting for the zinger.
  • Some presenters say they dread asking for queries at the end of a meeting, worried that a zinger is in the wings.
  • But occasionally the screenplay succeeds in slipping in a zinger.
Word Origin and History for zinger

"cruel quip," 1970, from zing + -er (1). Earlier it was baseball slang for "fastball" (by 1957).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for zinger


  1. A quip, esp one that is somewhat cruel and aggressive; a funny crack or punch line: Watt's offthe-cuff zingers have been a frequent source of pain for the Reagan Administration/ The plump little actor is polished and funny; his zingers stay zung
  2. A quick and sharp response; a sturdy retort: get right in there with Williams, stand eyeball to eyeball, and plant the zinger on him, bang, or else you would be dismissed (1950+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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