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From Middle English wringen, from Old English wringan, from Proto-Germanic *wringaną (compare West Frisian wringe, Low German wringen, Dutch wringen, German ringen ‘to wrestle’), from Proto-Indo-European *wrenǵʰ- (compare Lithuanian reñgtis ‘to bend down’, Ancient Greek ῥίμφα (rhímpha) ‘fast’), nasalized variant of *werǵʰ- ‘bind, squeeze’. More at worry.



wring (third-person singular simple present wrings, present participle wringing, simple past wrang or wrung or (obsolete) wringed, past participle wrung or (obsolete) wringed)

  1. To squeeze or twist tightly so that liquid is forced out.
    You must wring your wet jeans before hanging them out to dry.
    • Bible, Judg. vi. 38
      He rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece.
    • Shakespeare
      Your overkindness doth wring tears from me.
  2. To obtain by force.
    The police said they would wring the truth out of that heinous criminal.
  3. To hold tightly and press or twist.
    Some of the patients waiting in the dentist's office were wringing their hands nervously.
    He said he'd wring my neck if I told his girlfriend.
    He wrung my hand enthusiastically when he found out we were related.
    • Francis Bacon
      The king began to find where his shoe did wring him.
    • Bible, Leviticus i. 15
      The priest shall bring it [a dove] unto the altar, and wring off his head
  4. (intransitive) To writhe; to twist, as if in anguish.
  5. To kill an animal, usually poultry, by breaking its neck by twisting.
    • Shakespeare
      'Tis all men's office to speak patience / To those that wring under the load of sorrow.
  6. To pain; to distress; to torment; to torture.
    • Clarendon
      Too much grieved and wrung by an uneasy and strait fortune.
    • Addison
      Didst thou taste but half the griefs / That wring my soul, thou couldst not talk thus coldly.
  7. To distort; to pervert; to wrest.
    • Whitgift
      How dare men thus wring the Scriptures?
  8. To subject to extortion; to afflict, or oppress, in order to enforce compliance.
    • Shakespeare
      To wring the widow from her 'customed right.
    • Hayward
      The merchant adventurers have been often wronged and wringed to the quick.
  9. (nautical) To bend or strain out of its position.
    to wring a mast


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


wring (plural wrings)

  1. A powerful squeezing or twisting action.
    I grasped his hand and gave it a grateful wring.




  • (file)



  1. first-person singular present indicative of wringen
  2. imperative of wringen