General English

  • noun a wound made by an insect or plant
  • verb to wound someone with an insect’s or plant’s sting
  • verb to give a burning feeling

General Science

  • noun an organ with a sharp point, used by an insect or scorpion to pierce the skin of its victim and inject a toxic substance into the victim’s bloodstream
  • noun the action of using a sting
  • noun a raised area on the skin produced by a sting
  • noun a small itchy lump that is the result of touching a plant such a nettle that irritates the skin
  • verb to use a sting to pierce a victim
  • verb to produce a small itchy lump on somebody’s skin


  • noun the piercing of the skin by an insect which passes a toxic substance into the bloodstream
  • verb to make a hole in the skin and pass a toxic substance into the blood

Origin & History of “sting”

Sting comes from a prehistoric Germanic base *stengg-, which also produced Swedish stinga and Danish stinge. this denoted ‘pierce with something sharp’ (‘He with a spear stung the proud Viking’, Battle of Maldon 993), a meaning which was not ousted in English by the more specialized application to insects until the late 15th century. Stingy (17th c.) may be based on stinge ‘act of stinging’, a dialectal noun derived from Old English stingan ‘sting’; an underlying sense ‘having a sting, sharp’ is revealed in the dialectal sense ‘bad-tempered’.