Definition of “sting” - 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 /stɪŋ/ us 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)