- [Zoöl] 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.
- [Bot] 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.
- Anything that gives acute pain, bodily or mental; as, the stings of remorse; the stings of reproach. "The sting of death is sin." [1 Cor. xv. 56.]
- The thrust of a sting into the flesh; the act of stinging; a wound inflicted by stinging."The lurking serpent's mortal sting." [Shak.]
- A goad; incitement.
- The point of an epigram or other sarcastic saying.
Etymology: AS. sting a sting. See Sting (v. t.)