American English

Definition of sting noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a wound that is made when an insect, a creature, or a plant stings you A wasp or bee sting is painful but not necessarily serious.
  2. 2[countable, uncountable] any sharp pain in your body or mind the sting of salt in a wound There was a sting of sarcasm in his voice. She felt the sting of tears in her eyes. He smiled at her, trying to take the sting out of his words (= trying to make the situation less painful or difficult).
  3. 3[countable] a complicated secret plan by the police to catch criminals a sting operation to catch heroin dealers in Detroit
  4. 4[countable] a complicated plan by criminals to cheat people out of a lot of money
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: sting

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