Definition of sting noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//stɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//stɪŋ//
    Injuries, Parts of animals
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  1. 1  (North American English also stinger) [countable] the sharp pointed part of an insect or creature that can go into the skin leaving a small, painful and sometimes poisonous wound the sting of a bee The scorpion has a sting in its tail. See related entries: Parts of animals
  2. 2  [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. See related entries: Injuries
  3. 3  [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).
  4. 4[countable] a clever secret plan by the police to catch criminals a sting operation to catch heroin dealers in Detroit
  5. 5[countable] (especially North American English) a clever plan by criminals to cheat people out of a lot of money
  6. Word OriginOld English sting (noun), stingan (verb), of Germanic origin.Extra examples She was arrested in an undercover sting operation. She’s allergic to bee stings. The scorpion has a sting that can be deadly. You can get a nasty sting from a jellyfish. the hot sting of tears The FBI conducted a sting operation to catch heroin dealers in Detroit.Idioms (informal) an unpleasant feature that comes at the end of a story, an event, etc. and spoils it
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sting

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