American English

Definition of sting verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they sting
    he / she / it stings
    past simple stung
    -ing form stinging
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  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] sting (somebody/something) (of an insect or plant) to touch your skin or make a very small hole in it so that you feel a sharp pain I was stung on the arm by a wasp. Be careful of the nettles—they sting!
  2. 2[intransitive, transitive] to feel, or to make someone feel, a sharp pain in a part of their body I put some antiseptic on the cut and it stung for a moment. My eyes were stinging from the smoke. sting something Tears stung her eyes. Thesaurushurtache burn sting tingle itch throbThese are all words that can be used when part of your body feels painful.hurt (of part of your body) to feel painful; (of an action) to cause pain:My feet hurt. Stop it! That hurts!ache to feel a continuous dull pain:I'm aching all over.burn (of part of your body) to feel very hot and painful:Our eyes were burning from the chemicals in the air.sting to make someone feel a sharp burning pain or an uncomfortable feeling in part of their body; (of part of your body) to feel this pain:My eyes were stinging from the smoke.tingle (of part of your body) to feel as if a lot of small sharp points are pushing into the skin there:The cold air made her face tingle.itch to have an uncomfortable feeling on your skin that makes you want to scratch; to make your skin feel like this:I itch all over. Does the rash itch?throb (of part of your body) to feel pain as a series of regular beats:His head throbbed with pain.Patterns your eyes hurt/ache/burn/sting/itch your skin hurts/burns/stings/tingles/itches your flesh hurts/burns/stings/tingles your head hurts/aches/throbs your stomach hurts/aches to really hurt/ache/burn/sting/tingle/itch/throb to hurt/ache/sting/itch badly/a lot It hurts/stings/tingles/itches.
  3. 3[transitive] to make someone feel angry or upset sting somebody He was stung by their criticism. They launched a stinging attack on the government. sting somebody to/into something Their cruel remarks stung her into action. sting somebody into doing something He was stung into answering in his defense.
  4. 4[transitive, often passive] sting somebody (for something) (informal) (especially in business) to treat someone unfairly and make them pay money that they did not expect to pay He trusted his business partner implicitly, but in the end he got stung. I got stung for a $200 meal.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: sting

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