1 of an insect, plant, or animal : to hurt (someone) by piercing the skin with a sharp, pointed part that usually contains poison
I got stung by a bee.
The jellyfish stung the swimmer.
The bees will sting if you bother them.
2 : to cause a quick, sharp pain
The iodine will sting for a few minutes.
The cold rain stung my eyes.
3 a [no object] : to feel a quick sharp pain
The smoke made our eyes sting.
3 b not used in progressive tenses : to cause (someone) to feel emotional or mental pain
She was stung by their harsh criticism.
His words stung her.
Your comment stung.
4 [+ object] informal : to treat (someone) unfairly in a business deal — usually used as (be/get) stung
He got stung on that deal.
— stinging adjective
a stinging feeling
She gave him a stinging rebuke.