verb (used with object), stung or (Obsolete) stang; stung; stinging.
to prick or wound with a sharp-pointed, often venom-bearing organ.
to affect painfully or irritatingly as a result of contact, as certain plants do: to be stung by nettles.
to cause to smart or to cause a sharp pain: The blowing sand stung his eyes.
to cause mental or moral anguish: to be stung with remorse.
to goad or drive, as by sharp irritation.
Slang. to cheat or take advantage of, especially to overcharge; soak.
verb (used without object), stung or (Obsolete) stang; stung; stinging.
to use, have, or wound with a sting, as bees.
to cause a sharp, smarting pain, as some plants, an acrid liquid or gas, or a slap or hit.
to cause acute mental pain or irritation, as annoying thoughts or one's conscience: The memory of that insult still stings.
to feel acute mental pain or irritation: He was stinging from the blow to his pride.
to feel a smarting pain, as from a blow or the sting of an insect.
an act or an instance of stinging.
a wound, pain, or smart caused by stinging.
any sharp physical or mental wound, hurt, or pain.
anything or an element in anything that wounds, pains, or irritates: to feel the sting of defeat; Death, where is thy sting?
capacity to wound or pain: Satire has a sting.
a sharp stimulus or incitement: driven by the sting of jealousy; the sting of ambition.
Botany. a glandular hair on certain plants, as nettles, that emits an irritating fluid.
Zoology. any of various sharp-pointed, often venom-bearing organs of insects and other animals capable of inflicting painful or dangerous wounds.
an ostensibly illegal operation, as the buying of stolen goods or the bribing of public officials, used by undercover investigators to collect evidence of wrongdoing.

before 900; (v.) Middle English stingen, Old English stingan to pierce; cognate with Old Norse stinga to pierce, Gothic -stangan (in usstangan to pull out); (noun) Middle English sting(e), Old English: act of stinging, derivative of the v.

stingingly, adverb
stingless, adjective
outsting, verb (used with object), outstung, outstinging.
resting, verb, restung, restinging.
unstinging, adjective
unstingingly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source Link To outsting
World English Dictionary
sting (stɪŋ)
vb , stings, stinging, stung
1.  (of certain animals and plants) to inflict a wound on (an organism) by the injection of poison
2.  to feel or cause to feel a sharp mental or physical pain
3.  (tr) to goad or incite (esp in the phrase sting into action)
4.  informal (tr) to cheat, esp by overcharging
5.  a skin wound caused by the poison injected by certain insects or plants
6.  pain caused by or as if by the sting of a plant or animal
7.  a mental pain or pang: a sting of conscience
8.  a sharp pointed organ, such as the ovipositor of a wasp, by which poison can be injected into the prey
9.  the ability to sting: a sharp sting in his criticism
10.  something as painful or swift of action as a sting: the sting of death
11.  a sharp stimulus or incitement
12.  botany another name for stinging hair
13.  slang a swindle or fraud
14.  slang a trap set up by the police to entice a person to commit a crime and thereby produce evidence
15.  sting in the tail an unexpected and unpleasant ending
[Old English stingan; related to Old Norse stinga to pierce, Gothic usstangan to pluck out, Greek stakhus ear of corn]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

O.E. stingan "to prick with a small point" (of weapons, insects, plants, etc.), from P.Gmc. *stenganan (cf. O.N. stinga, O.H.G. stungen "to prick," Goth. us-stagg "to prick out," O.H.G. stanga, Ger. stange "pole, perch," Ger. stengel "stalk, stem"), from PIE *stengh-, nasalized form of base *stegh- "to
prick, sting" (cf. O.E. stagga "stag," Gk. stokhos "pointed stake"). Specialized to insects late 15c. Slang meaning "to cheat, swindle" is from 1812. The noun is O.E. stincg, steng "act of stinging, stinging pain;" meaning "carefully planned theft or robbery" is attested from 1930; sense of "police undercover entrapment" first attested 1975. Sting ray is from 1624.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

sting (stĭng)
v. stung (stŭng), sting·ing, stings

  1. To pierce or wound painfully with or as if with a sharp-pointed structure or organ, as that of certain insects.

  2. To introduce venom by stinging.

  3. To cause to feel a sharp smarting pain by or as if by pricking with a sharp point.

  1. The act of stinging.

  2. The wound or pain caused by or as if by stinging.

  3. The venom apparatus of a stinging organism.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2015 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature