What does sting mean?

Definitions for sting

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word sting.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. sting, stingingnoun

    a kind of pain; something as sudden and painful as being stung

    "the sting of death"; "he felt the stinging of nettles"

  2. pang, stingnoun

    a mental pain or distress

    "a pang of conscience"

  3. sting, bite, insect bitenoun

    a painful wound caused by the thrust of an insect's stinger into skin

  4. bunco, bunco game, bunko, bunko game, con, confidence trick, confidence game, con game, gyp, hustle, sting, flimflamverb

    a swindle in which you cheat at gambling or persuade a person to buy worthless property

  5. bite, sting, burnverb

    cause a sharp or stinging pain or discomfort

    "The sun burned his face"

  6. sting, bite, prickverb

    deliver a sting to

    "A bee stung my arm yesterday"

  7. stick, stingverb

    saddle with something disagreeable or disadvantageous

    "They stuck me with the dinner bill"; "I was stung with a huge tax bill"

  8. prick, sting, twingeverb

    cause a stinging pain

    "The needle pricked his skin"

  9. stingverb

    cause an emotional pain, as if by stinging

    "His remark stung her"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Stingnoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    Serpents have venomous teeth, which are mistaken for their sting. Francis Bacon, Natural History.

    His rapier was a hornet’s sting,
    It was a very dangerous thing:
    For if he chanc’d to hurt the king,
    It would be long in healing. Michael Drayton.

    The Jews receiving this book originally with such sting in it, shews that the authority was high. Duncan Forbes.

    It is not the jerk or sting of an epigram, nor the seeming contradiction of a poor antithesis. Dryden.

  2. To STINGverb

    Preterite, I stung, participle passive stang, and stung.

    Etymology: stingan , Saxon; stungen, sore pricked, Islandick.

    The snake, rolled in a flow’ry bank,
    With shining checker’d slough, doth sting a child
    That for the beauty thinks it excellent. William Shakespeare.

    That snakes and vipers sting and transmit their mischief by the tail is not easily to be justified, the poison lying about the teeth and communicated by the bite. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours.

    His unkindness
    That stript her from his benediction, turn’d her
    To foreign casualties, gave her dear right,
    To his doghearted daughters: these things sting him
    So venomously, that burning shame detains him
    From his Cordelia. William Shakespeare.

    No more I wave
    To prove the hero. —— Slander stings the brave. Alexander Pope.


  1. sting

    Stimulator of interferon genes (STING), also known as transmembrane protein 173 (TMEM173) and MPYS/MITA/ERIS is a protein that in humans is encoded by the STING1 gene.STING plays an important role in innate immunity. STING induces type I interferon production when cells are infected with intracellular pathogens, such as viruses, mycobacteria and intracellular parasites. Type I interferon, mediated by STING, protects infected cells and nearby cells from local infection by binding to the same cell that secretes it (autocrine signaling) and nearby cells (paracrine signaling.) It thus plays an important role, for instance, in controlling norovirus infection.STING works as both a direct cytosolic DNA sensor (CDS) and an adaptor protein in Type I interferon signaling through different molecular mechanisms. It has been shown to activate downstream transcription factors STAT6 and IRF3 through TBK1, which are responsible for antiviral response and innate immune response against intracellular pathogen.


  1. sting

    A sting is a typically sharp, sudden pain or discomfort generally caused by a quick physical penetration of the skin. This can be caused by various things such as an insect bite, injection needle, or even a harsh comment or action. It is also used to refer to an undercover operation carried out by law enforcement to catch a person committing a crime.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Stingverb

    any sharp organ of offense and defense, especially when connected with a poison gland, and adapted to inflict a wound by piercing; as the caudal sting of a scorpion. The sting of a bee or wasp is a modified ovipositor. The caudal sting, or spine, of a sting ray is a modified dorsal fin ray. The term is sometimes applied to the fang of a serpent. See Illust. of Scorpion

  2. Stingverb

    a sharp-pointed hollow hair seated on a gland which secrets an acrid fluid, as in nettles. The points of these hairs usually break off in the wound, and the acrid fluid is pressed into it

  3. Stingverb

    anything that gives acute pain, bodily or mental; as, the stings of remorse; the stings of reproach

  4. Stingverb

    the thrust of a sting into the flesh; the act of stinging; a wound inflicted by stinging

  5. Stingverb

    a goad; incitement

  6. Stingverb

    the point of an epigram or other sarcastic saying

  7. Stingverb

    to pierce or wound with a sting; as, bees will sting an animal that irritates them; the nettles stung his hands

  8. Stingverb

    to pain acutely; as, the conscience is stung with remorse; to bite

  9. Stingverb

    to goad; to incite, as by taunts or reproaches

  10. Etymology: [AS. stingan; akin to Icel. & Sw. stinga, Dan. stinge, and probably to E. stick, v.t.; cf. Goth. usstiggan to put out, pluck out. Cf. Stick, v. t.]


  1. Sting

    Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner CBE, known by his stage name Sting, is an English musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, activist, actor and philanthropist. He is best known as the principal songwriter, lead singer and bassist for the rock band The Police before launching a solo career. Sting has varied his musical style, incorporating distinct elements of jazz, reggae, classical, New Age, and worldbeat into his music. As a solo musician and member of the Police, Sting has received 16 Grammy Awards for his work, receiving his first Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1981, three Brit Awards – winning Best British Male in 1994, a Golden Globe, an Emmy Award, and several Oscar nominations for Best Original Song. He is a member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Sting

    sting, v.t. to stick anything sharp into, to pain acutely.—v.i. to have a sting: to give pain:—pa.t. and pa.p. stung.—n. the sharp-pointed weapon of some animals: the thrust of a sting into the flesh: anything that causes acute pain: any stimulus or impulse: the point in the last verse of an epigram.—n. Sting′er, one who, or that which, stings.—adv. Sting′ingly, with stinging.—adj. Sting′less, having no sting.—n. Sting′-ray, a genus of cartilaginous fishes, of the order of Rays, and family Trygonidæ, the long tail bearing dorsally a long bi-serrated spine capable of giving an ugly wound. [A.S. stingan; Ice. stinga.]

Suggested Resources

  1. sting

    Quotes by sting -- Explore a large variety of famous quotes made by sting on the Quotes.net website.

  2. sting

    Song lyrics by sting -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by sting on the Lyrics.com website.


  1. Sting

    the modified ovipositor in aculeate Hymenoptera.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. STING

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Sting is ranked #114424 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Sting surname appeared 153 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Sting.

    91.5% or 140 total occurrences were White.
    4.5% or 7 total occurrences were Black.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce sting?

How to say sting in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of sting in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of sting in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of sting in a Sentence

  1. Brandon Garic Notch:

    The taste of blood and that annoying sting of a bitten tongue. Once man got the taste of blood there was no going back, like a serpent circling itself eating its own tail.

  2. Siddharth Astir:

    It doesn't ring, till it doesn't sting...

  3. William Shakespeare, "Hamlet", Act 1 scene 5:

    Leave her to heaven And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge, To prick and sting her.

  4. Bruce Aylward:

    This virus and this outbreak in particular has a nasty sting in the tail, it's not finished, by a long shot.

  5. Priyank Mathur:

    I thought, how are we, the country that invented Madison Avenue and Hollywood and arguably the greatest messaging machine in the history of all time - how are we losing, what is essentially a messaging battle to folks halfway across the world that are operating on a shoe sting budget. And so I think to counter what they are doing, we need to up our social media game.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for sting

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • لسعArabic
  • bodnout, píchnoutCzech
  • stechen, Stich, Biss, Insektenstich, Insektenbiss, verdeckte Operation, Wespenstich, Skorpionstich, Bienenstich, beißenGerman
  • picaduraSpanish
  • pisto, purra, pistos, purema, pistää, paukama, pattiFinnish
  • piquer, piqûreFrench
  • עֲקִיצָהHebrew
  • csípés, csíp, szúrHungarian
  • խայթոցArmenian
  • pungereItalian
  • 食う, 刺す, 虫さされ, 刺傷, 刺し傷Japanese
  • پێوه‌دانKurdish
  • dzeltLatvian
  • kakatiMāori
  • stikk, stikkeNorwegian
  • użądlić, ukąsić, żądlić, kąsaćPolish
  • picada, morder, ferroada, picarPortuguese
  • kaniyQuechua
  • înțepa, împunge, pișcaRomanian
  • ужалить, укусить, жалить, испытывать боль, болеть, чувствовать боль, причинять боль, кусать, укус насекомогоRussian
  • stinga, stickaSwedish
  • స్టింగ్, కుట్టుTelugu
  • кусати, жалити, ужалити, укуситиUkrainian
  • bienastegül, skorpionastegül, flibastegül, stegülön, näsäkastegül, stegülVolapük

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"sting." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 2 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/sting>.

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