General English

General Science

  • noun a circle which goes round something
  • noun a closed loop of atoms in a molecule
  • verb to make a metallic sound like the sound of a bell


  • noun a metal circle which goes through the nose of an animal
  • verb to attach a numbered ring to the leg of a bird so that its movements can be recorded
  • verb to attach a ring to an animal, such as to the nose of a bull


  • noun a group of people who try to fix prices so as not to compete with each other and still make a large profit
  • noun a trading floor on a commodity exchange


  • noun a data list whose last entry points back to the first entry.
  • noun the topology of a network in which the wiring sequentially connects one workstation to another


  • noun the boundary of a cricket field
    Citation ‘There are few better moments at cricket than when one has forced a good length ball through the fielders on the off-side, standing well balanced where one is, and the ball speeding to the ring’ (Warner 1934)


  • An object or arrangement of objects in the form of a circle whose center is not filled. For example, a ring magnet, or a ring network.
  • Movement whose path resembles a circle. Also, to form such rings around a given point or location. For instance, the path a signal follows in a ring network.
  • One of multiple turns, such as those of a coil or helix.
  • To surround with a circular arrangement. For example, to place a guard ring.
  • Of the two wires of a POTS line, the more electrically negative. The more electrically positive is the tip (3). Also called ring lead, or ring wire.
  • For a telephone or similar device, such as a fax, to emit a sound which indicates that there is an incoming call.


  • verb to alter chassis or engine numbers on a car, so as to falsify its origin


  • noun a circle of tissue, or tissue or muscle shaped like a circle


  • noun the anus. A common vulgarism in all English-speaking communities. The word has also occasionally been used for the vagina.


  • noun a raised square roped platform on which a boxing or wrestling match takes place

Origin & History of “ring”

English has two distinct words ring. The one meaning ‘circle’ goes back to a prehistoric Germanic *khrenggaz, which also produced German, Dutch, Swedish, and Danish ring (not to mention the Finnish borrowing rengas). It may be related to Old church Slavonic kragu ‘circle’. The Germanic form was taken over by Old French as ranc, from which English gets rank, and also as renc, which may be the source of English rink (18th c.). Ring ‘chime’ presumably goes back to a prehistoric Germanic ancestor that imitated the sound of clanging, and also produced German and Dutch ringen, Swedish ringa, and Danish ringe (the suggestion that it contains some reference to the circular motion of tolling bells is attractive, but has no basis in fact).