sting Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “sting” in the English Dictionary

"sting" in British English

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stingverb

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

[I or T] If an ​insect, ​plant, or ​animal stings, it ​produces a ​small but ​painfulinjury, usually with a ​poison, by ​brushing against the ​skin or making a very ​smallhole in the ​skin: Do all ​types of ​bee sting? I got stung by a ​waspyesterday. I didn't ​see the ​nettles until I was stung by them. [I or T] to ​causesharp but usually ​temporarypain: The ​soap/​smoke/​sweat stung my ​eyes. This ​type of ​disinfectant doesn't sting, ​even if you put it on a ​freshcut. [I or T] If someone's ​unkindremarks sting, they make you ​feelupset 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 ​angryanswerintended to ​upset), before ​slamming down the ​phone.

stingnoun

uk   us   /stɪŋ/
  • sting noun (HURT)

[C or S] a ​suddenburningpain in ​youreyes, on ​yourskin, 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 ​pointedpart 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 ​painfulinjury by making a very ​smallhole in the ​skin: [I] Why do ​bees sting? [I/T] If something stings, it ​causes you to ​feelpain: [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 ​feelupset and ​annoyed: [T] Managers were stung by ​criticism from ​environmentalists.

stingnoun [C]

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

an ​operation in which ​policeofficers or ​otherspretend to be ​criminals so they can ​catchpeoplecommittingcrimes: 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 ​painfulinjury caused when an ​insect or ​animal makes a ​smallhole 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 ​losemoney: We have been stung by ​risinginterestrates.
(Definition of sting from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“sting” in Business English

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