Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

ring - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb     ring pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participleringing
past tenserang
past participlerung
  1. 1
    [transitive]Sound effect to make a bell produce a sound

    He rang the doorbell.

    1. a.
      [intransitive] if a bell rings, it produces a sound

      A bell rang and the children trooped back into the school.

    2. b.
      [intransitive/transitive] to ring a bell as a signal for someone to come to you or to help you
      ring for:

      Please ring for assistance.

  2. 2
    [intransitive] to make a continuous loud high sound
    1. a.
      literary if a place rings with a sound, it is full of a loud sound
      ring with:

      The room rang with his frightened cries.

    2. b.
      if a sound rings in a place, it is loud and you can hear it clearly

      A great cheer rang through the hall.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] if your ears ring, you continue to hear a loud sound in your head for a short time after you have heard a loud noise or someone has hit you

    The sound of the shot left Rory’s ears ringing.

  4. 4
    past tenseringed
    past participleringed
    [transitive] to surround someone or something, especially in order to protect them or to prevent them from escaping

    Ringed by soldiers for protection, he tried to address the crowd.

    1. a.
      to draw a circle around something, especially to show that you have chosen it or to make it easy to notice

      She ringed the date on the calendar in the kitchen.

    2. b.
      mainly British to put a metal ring with a special number on it around the leg of a bird so that you can recognize it again later. The usual American word is tag.
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

deep learning

a form of machine learning which incorporates the use of neural networks

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

snap election

a general election … that is called earlier than expected

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play