Pronunciation: (sting),[key] —v.,stung or (Obs.)stang; stung; sting•ing; —n.
—v.t. 1. to prick or wound with a sharp-pointed, often venom-bearing organ.
2. to affect painfully or irritatingly as a result of contact, as certain plants do: to be stung by nettles. 3. to cause to smart or to cause a sharp pain: The blowing sand stung his eyes. 4. to cause mental or moral anguish: to be stung with remorse. 5. to goad or drive, as by sharp irritation.
6. Slang.to cheat or take advantage of, esp. to overcharge; soak.
—v.i. 1. to use, have, or wound with a sting, as bees.
2. to cause a sharp, smarting pain, as some plants, an acrid liquid or gas, or a slap or hit.
3. to cause acute mental pain or irritation, as annoying thoughts or one's conscience: The memory of that insult still stings. 4. to feel acute mental pain or irritation: He was stinging from the blow to his pride. 5. to feel a smarting pain, as from a blow or the sting of an insect.
—n. 1. an act or an instance of stinging.
2. a wound, pain, or smart caused by stinging.
3. any sharp physical or mental wound, hurt, or pain.
4. anything or an element in anything that wounds, pains, or irritates: to feel the sting of defeat; Death, where is thy sting? 5. capacity to wound or pain: Satire has a sting. 6. a sharp stimulus or incitement: driven by the sting of jealousy; the sting of ambition. 7. Bot.a glandular hair on certain plants, as nettles, that emits an irritating fluid.
8. Zool.any of various sharp-pointed, often venom-bearing organs of insects and other animals capable of inflicting painful or dangerous wounds.
9. Slang. a. See confidence game. b. an ostensibly illegal operation, as the buying of stolen goods or the bribing of public officials, used by undercover investigators to collect evidence of wrongdoing.