Sting most commonly refers to the wound inflicted by a bee or hornet, or to a kind of burning pain, like the brief sting when your doctor gives you a vaccine. A nasty remark can also sting.

"Float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee!" was Muhammad Ali's famous taunt to other fighters. But insects and boxers aren't the only ones who can sting. When someone says something that's both mean and true, it can sting. Such things are often referred to as stinging remarks. But if you're thinking crime, then a sting is a con-job that takes planning to pull off. When the cops spend months creating a fake crime-ring in order to catch criminals in the act, it's referred to a "sting operation."

Definitions of sting
  1. verb
    deliver a sting to
    “A bee stung my arm yesterday”
    synonyms: bite, prick
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    type of:
    make a hole into
  2. verb
    cause a sharp or stinging pain or discomfort
    synonyms: bite, burn, sear
    feel hot or painful
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    nettle, urticate
    sting with or as with nettles and cause a stinging pain or sensation
    type of:
    ache, hurt, smart
    be the source of pain
  3. verb
    cause a stinging pain
    synonyms: prick, twinge
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    prick, prickle
    cause a prickling sensation
    type of:
    ache, hurt, suffer
    feel physical pain
  4. verb
    cause an emotional pain, as if by stinging
    “His remark stung her”
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    type of:
    bruise, hurt, injure, offend, spite, wound
    hurt the feelings of
  5. verb
    saddle with something disagreeable or disadvantageous
    “I was stung with a huge tax bill”
    synonyms: stick
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    type of:
    force, thrust
    impose urgently, importunately, or inexorably
  6. noun
    a kind of pain; something as sudden and painful as being stung
    “the sting of death”
    synonyms: stinging
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    type of:
    hurting, pain
    a symptom of some physical hurt or disorder
  7. noun
    a painful wound caused by the thrust of an insect's stinger into skin
    synonyms: bite, insect bite
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    bee sting
    a sting inflicted by a bee
    flea bite
    sting inflicted by a flea
    mosquito bite
    a sting inflicted by a mosquito
    type of:
    harm, hurt, injury, trauma
    any physical damage to the body caused by violence or accident or fracture etc.
  8. noun
    a mental pain or distress
    synonyms: pang
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    type of:
    hurting, pain
    a symptom of some physical hurt or disorder
  9. noun
    a swindle in which you cheat at gambling or persuade a person to buy worthless property
    synonyms: bunco, bunco game, bunko, bunko game, con, con game, confidence game, confidence trick, flimflam, gyp, hustle
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    sting operation
    a complicated confidence game planned and executed with great care (especially an operation implemented by undercover agents to apprehend criminals)
    type of:
    cheat, rig, swindle
    the act of swindling by some fraudulent scheme
Word Family