American English

Definition of ring verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they ring
    he / she / it rings
    past simple rang
    past participle rung
    -ing form ringing
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  1. 1[intransitive] (of a telephone) to make a sound because someone is trying to call you Will you answer the telephone if it rings?
  2. bell
  3. 2[transitive, intransitive] if you ring a bell or if a bell rings, it produces a sound ring (something) Someone was ringing the doorbell. The church bells rang. The doorbell rang loudly. ring for somebody/something Just ring for the nurse (= attract the nurse's attention by ringing a bell) if you need her.
  4. with sound
  5. 3[intransitive] ring (with something) (literary) to be full of a sound; to fill a place with sound synonym resound The house rang with children's laughter. Applause rang through the concert hall.
  6. with quality
  7. 4[intransitive] ring (with something) to be full of a particular quality His words rang with pride.
  8. of ears
  9. 5[intransitive] to be uncomfortable and be unable to hear clearly, usually because you have heard a loud noise, etc. The music was so loud it made my ears ring.
  10. Idioms
    alarm bells ring/start ringing, (something) sets off alarm bells
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    if you say that alarm bells are ringing or that something sets off alarm bells, you mean that people are starting to feel worried and suspicious The government's proposal has set alarm bells ringing for people on low incomes.
    have/get your bell rung (slang)
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    to be hit very hard on the head Gonzales had his bell rung in the third round of the fight.
    ring a bell (informal)
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    to sound familiar to you, as though you have heard it before His name rings a bell but I can't think where we met.
    ring in your ears/head
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    to make you feel that you can still hear something His warning was still ringing in my ears.
    ring off the hook
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    (usually used in the progressive tenses) (of a telephone) to ring many times The phone has been ringing off the hook with offers of help.
    ring true/hollow/false
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    to give the impression of being sincere/true or not sincere/true It may seem like a strange story but it rings true to me.
    Phrasal Verbsring in somethingring outring somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: ring