sting Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “sting” in the English Dictionary

"sting" in British English

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stingverb

uk   /stɪŋ/  us   /stɪŋ/ (stung, stung)
  • sting verb (HURT)

[I or T] If an insect, plant, or animal stings, it produces a small but painful injury, usually with a poison, by brushing against the skin or making a very small hole in the skin: Do all types of bee sting? I got stung by a wasp yesterday. I didn't see the nettles until I was stung by them.
[I or T] to cause sharp but usually temporary pain: The soap/smoke/sweat stung my eyes. This type of disinfectant doesn't sting, even if you put it on a fresh cut.
[I or T] If someone's unkind remarks sting, they make you feel upset and annoyed: She knew he was right, but his words still stung. He was stung by her criticisms. She managed to give a stinging reply (= an angry answer intended to upset), before slamming down the phone.

stingnoun

uk   /stɪŋ/  us   /stɪŋ/
  • sting noun (HURT)

[C or S] a sudden burning pain in your eyes, on your skin, etc., or the ability to cause such pain: She had several bee stings. the sting of salt in a wound Some types of jellyfish have a powerful sting.
[S] the feeling of being upset by something: the sting of defeat
[C] UK (US stinger) a pointed part of an insect, plant, or animal that goes through a person's or animal's skin and leaves behind poison
(Definition of sting from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"sting" in American English

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stingverb

 us   /stɪŋ/ (past tense and past participle stung  /stʌŋ/ )
  • sting verb (HURT)

[I/T] (esp. of insects, plants, and animals) to produce a small but painful injury by making a very small hole in the skin: [I] Why do bees sting?
[I/T] If something stings, it causes you to feel pain: [T] Cold air stung Jack’s lungs. [I] The soap made his eyes sting.
[I/T] If someone’s remarks sting you, they make you feel upset and annoyed: [T] Managers were stung by criticism from environmentalists.

stingnoun [C]

 us   /stɪŋ/
  • sting noun [C] (POLICE ACTIVITY)

an operation in which police officers or others pretend to be criminals so they can catch people committing crimes: Officers set up a sting in which they sold him the jewels, and when he drove off with them they arrested him.
  • sting noun [C] (INJURY)

a small but painful injury caused when an insect or animal makes a small hole in the skin: Bee stings covered his hands.
(Definition of sting from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"sting" in Business English

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stingverb [T]

uk   us   /stɪŋ/ informal
to charge someone a large amount of money for something, especially when this is unfair: sting sb for sth The bank stung me for €50 in charges.
to cause someone to lose money: We have been stung by rising interest rates.
(Definition of sting from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“sting” in Business English

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