Etymology: Middle English, from Old English hring; akin to Old High German hring ring, Old Church Slavic krǫgŭ circle
Date: before 12th century
1. a circular band for holding, connecting, hanging, pulling, packing, or sealing <a key ring> <a towel ring> 2. a circlet usually of precious metal worn especially on the finger 3. a. a circular line, figure, or object <smoke ring> b. an encircling arrangement <a ring of suburbs> c. a circular or spiral course — often used figuratively in plural in the phrase run rings around to describe surpassing an opponent decisively 4. a. (1) an often circular space especially for exhibitions or competitions; especially such a space at a circus (2) a structure containing such a ring b. a square enclosure in which a fighting contest (as a boxing or wrestling match) takes place 5. a band of small objects revolving around a planet (as Saturn) and composed of dust and icy or rocky fragments 6. annual ring 7. a. an exclusive combination of persons for a selfish and often corrupt purpose (as to control a market) <a wheat ring> b. gang 8. the field of a political contest ; race 9. food in the shape of a circle 10. an arrangement of atoms represented in formulas or models in a cyclic manner — called also cycle 11. a set of mathematical elements that is closed under two binary operations of which the first forms a commutative group with the set and the second is associative over the set and is distributive with respect to the first operation 12. plural a. a pair of usually rubber-covered metal rings suspended from a ceiling or crossbar to a height of approximately eight feet above the floor and used for hanging, swinging, and balancing feats in gymnastics b. an event in gymnastics competition in which the rings are used 13. boxing I <ended his ring career> • ringlike adjective II. verb (ringed; ringing) Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. to provide with a ring 2. to place or form a ring around ; encircle <police ringed the building> 3. girdle 2 4. to throw a ringer over (the peg) in a game (as horseshoes or quoits) intransitive verb 1. a. to move in a ring b. to rise in the air spirally 2. to form or take the shape of a ring III. verb (rang; rung; ringing) Etymology: Middle English, from Old English hringan; akin to Old Norse hringja to ring Date: before 12th century intransitive verb 1. to sound resonantly or sonorously <the doorbell rang> <cheers rang out> 2. a. to be filled with a reverberating sound ; resound <the halls rang with laughter> b. to have the sensation of being filled with a humming sound <his ears rang> 3. to cause something to ring <ring for the butler> 4. a. to be filled with talk or report <the whole land rang with her fame> b. to have great renown c. to sound repetitiously <their praise rang in his ears> 5. to have a sound or character expressive of some quality <a story that rings true> 6. chiefly British to make a telephone call — usually used with up transitive verb 1. to cause to sound especially by striking 2. to make (a sound) by or as if by ringing a bell 3. to announce by or as if by ringing 4. to repeat often, loudly, or earnestly 5. a. to summon especially by bell b. chiefly British telephone — usually used with up IV. noun Date: 1549 1. a set of bells 2. a clear resonant sound made by or resembling that made by vibrating metal 3. resonant tone ; sonority 4. a loud sound continued, repeated, or reverberated 5. a sound or character expressive of some particular quality <the story had a familiar ring> 6. a. the act or an instance of ringing b. a telephone call <give me a ring in the morning>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.