- 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 [intransitive, transitive] to feel, or to make somebody 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. Synonymshurtache 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. Ouch! That hurt!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 somebody feel a sharp burning pain or 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 painfully.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[transitive] to make somebody 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 defence. See related entries: Anger
- 4[transitive, often passive] sting somebody (for something) (informal) to charge somebody more money than they expected; to charge somebody who did not expect to pay I got stung for a £100 meal. How much did they sting you for? Word Origin Old English sting (noun), stingan (verb), of Germanic origin.Extra examples He was stung into answering in his own defence. He was stung into making a cheap retort. Taunts from the fans stung him into his best performance of the season. Phrasal Verbssting somebody for something
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BrE BrE//stɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//stɪŋ//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they sting
BrE BrE//stɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//stɪŋ//he / she / it stings
BrE BrE//stɪŋz//; NAmE NAmE//stɪŋz//past simple stung
BrE BrE//stʌŋ//; NAmE NAmE//stʌŋ//past participle stung
BrE BrE//stʌŋ//; NAmE NAmE//stʌŋ//-ing form stinging
BrE BrE//ˈstɪŋɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈstɪŋɪŋ//Anger