wring [ring] ExamplesWord Origin verb (used with object), wrung, wring·ing.

  1. to twist forcibly: He wrung the chicken’s neck.
  2. to twist and compress, or compress without twisting, in order to force out water or other liquid (often followed by out): to wring clothes.
  3. to extract or expel by twisting or compression (usually followed by out or from).
  4. to affect painfully by or as if by some contorting or compressing action.
  5. to clasp tightly with or without twisting: to wring one’s hands in pain.
  6. to force (usually followed by off) by twisting.
  7. to extract or get by forceful effort or means (often followed by out).

verb (used without object), wrung, wring·ing.

  1. to perform the action of wringing something.
  2. to writhe, as in anguish.


  1. a wringing; forcible twist or squeeze.

Origin of wring before 900; Middle English wringen, Old English wringan; cognate with German ringen to wrestleRelated formsout·wring, verb (used with object), out·wrung, out·wring·ing.Can be confusedring wring Related Words for wringing extort, wrest, wrench, squeeze, extract, screw, gouge, force, strain, pinch, throttle, compress, choke, hurt, exact, turn, coerce, push, pain, strangle Examples from the Web for wringing Contemporary Examples of wringing

  • Some artists were just happy to have their music out [but] the labels were just wringing their hands.

    15 Years After Napster: How the Music Service Changed the Industry

    Alex Suskind

    June 6, 2014

  • He says the worst of it is in his neck, which on good days feels like someone is grabbing it rather than wringing it.

    15 Rounds and Still Talking: Lt. Brian Murphy’s Story of the Oak Creek Massacre

    Simran Jeet Singh

    August 5, 2013

  • Pundits are wringing their hands over the leaks emerging on how the Supreme Court decided Obamacare.

    Obamacare Leaks Show Supreme Court’s Slow Move to the 21st Century

    Daniel Stone

    July 4, 2012

  • With a looming humanitarian disaster in Libya, Western nations are wringing their hands over what to do.

    Obama’s Libya Gamble

    John Barry

    March 11, 2011

  • The wringing of his hands, the dropping of his ice cream into his lap.

    Can a Straight Man Love Sex and the City?

    Michael Patrick King

    May 23, 2010

  • Historical Examples of wringing

  • Never, never, wringing her hands, should she meet with a mistress she loved so well.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Not unto me the strength be ascribed; not unto me the wringing of the expiation!’

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • This one,’ he added, wringing his hand again, ‘that will be lost through me.’

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

  • “You must go back the way you came,” said the monkey, wringing the tears from its handkerchief.

    Prince Vance

    Eleanor Putnam

  • Swan pushed back from the table, wringing the coffee from his mustache.

    The Flockmaster of Poison Creek

    George W. Ogden

  • British Dictionary definitions for wringing wring verb wrings, wringing or wrung

    1. (often foll by out) to twist and compress to squeeze (a liquid) from (cloth, etc)
    2. (tr) to twist forciblywring its neck
    3. (tr) to clasp and twist (one’s hands), esp in anguish
    4. (tr) to distresswring one’s heart
    5. (tr) to grip (someone’s hand) vigorously in greeting
    6. (tr) to obtain by or as if by forceful meanswring information out of
    7. (intr) to writhe with or as if with pain
    8. wringing wet soaking; drenched


    1. an act or the process of wringing

    Word Origin for wring Old English wringan; related to Old High German ringan (German wringen), Gothic wrungō snare. See wrangle, wrong Word Origin and History for wringing wring v.

    Old English wringan “press, strain, wring, twist” (class III strong verb; past tense wrang, past participle wrungen), from Proto-Germanic *wrenganan (cf. Old English wringen “to wring, press out,” Old Frisian wringa, Middle Dutch wringhen, Dutch wringen “to wring,” Old High German ringan “to move to and fro, to twist,” German ringen “to wrestle”), from PIE *wrengh- “to turn,” nasalized variant of *wergh- “to turn,” from root *wer- (3) “to turn, bend” (see versus).

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