Verb > Sting

1 of an insect, plant, or animal : to hurt (someone) by piercing the skin with a sharp, pointed part that usually contains poison

[+ object]

I got stung by a bee.

The jellyfish stung the swimmer.

[no object]

The bees will sting if you bother them.

2 : to cause a quick, sharp pain

[no object]

The iodine will sting for a few minutes.

[+ object]

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

[+ object]

She was stung by their harsh criticism.

His words stung her.

[no object]

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

stinging tentacles

a stinging feeling

She gave him a stinging rebuke.