January 25, 2021
Learner's Word of the Day
sting /ˈstɪŋ/ verb

stings; stung /ˈstʌŋ/; stinging

Bees will not sting unless they are threatened.
Bees will not sting unless they are threatened.
Learner's definition of STING

1 of an insect, plant, or animal : to hurt (someone) by piercing the skin with a sharp, pointed part that usually contains poison

[+ object]

  • I got stung by a bee.

  • The jellyfish stung the swimmer.

[no object]

  • The bees will sting if you bother them.

2 : to cause a quick, sharp pain

[no object]

  • The iodine will sting for a few minutes.

[+ object]

  • The cold rain stung my eyes.

3 a [no object] : to feel a quick sharp pain

  • The smoke made our eyes sting.

3 b not used in progressive tenses : to cause (someone) to feel emotional or mental pain

[+ object]

  • She was stung by their harsh criticism.

  • His words stung her.

[no object]

  • Your comment stung.

4 [+ object] informal : to treat (someone) unfairly in a business deal — usually used as (be/get) stung

  • He got stung on that deal.

stinging adjective

  • stinging tentacles

  • a stinging feeling

  • She gave him a stinging rebuke.

Get Learner's Word of the Day daily email!
More Learner's Words of the Day