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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English slynge (noun), slyngen (verb), probably from Old Norse slyngja, slyngva (to hurl), from Proto-Germanic *slingwaną (to worm, twist) or compare Old English slingan (to wind, twist), from the same source. Compare German schlingen (to swing, wind, twist), Danish and Norwegian slynge), from Proto-Indo-European *slenk (to turn, twist) (compare Welsh llyngyr (worms, maggots), Lithuanian sliñkti (to crawl like a snake), Latvian slìkt (to sink)).


  • IPA(key): /ˈslɪŋ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪŋ


sling (third-person singular simple present slings, present participle slinging, simple past slung or slang, past participle slung)

  1. To throw with a circular or arcing motion.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Addison to this entry?)
  2. To throw with a sling.
    • Bible, Judges xx. 16
      Everyone could sling stones at an hairbreadth, and not miss.
  3. (nautical) To pass a rope around (a cask, gun, etc.) preparatory to attaching a hoisting or lowering tackle.
  4. (slang) To sell drugs.
    • 2008, Breaking Bad, Season 1, Episode 6:
      You may know a lot about chemistry man but you don't know jack about slinging dope.
Derived termsEdit


A diagram of how to put on a sling (sense 2)

sling (plural slings)

  1. (weapon) An instrument for throwing stones or other missiles, consisting of a short strap with two strings fastened to its ends, or with a string fastened to one end and a light stick to the other.
    • 1786, Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, page 43:
      The Sling is also a weapon of great antiquity, formerly in high estimation among the ancients.
  2. A kind of hanging bandage put around the neck, in which a wounded arm or hand is supported.
  3. A loop of cloth, worn around the neck, for supporting a baby or other such load.
  4. A loop of rope, or a rope or chain with hooks, for suspending a barrel, bale, or other heavy object, in hoisting or lowering.
  5. A strap attached to a firearm, for suspending it from the shoulder.
  6. (nautical, chiefly in the plural) A band of rope or iron for securing a yard to a mast.
  7. The act or motion of hurling as with a sling; a throw; figuratively, a stroke.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
      At one sling / Of thy victorious arm, well-pleasing Son.
    • 1600, William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, Scene I, line 55:
      To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing, end them.
  8. (climbing) A loop of rope or fabric tape used for various purposes: e.g. as part of a runner, or providing extra protection when abseiling or belaying.
  9. A drink composed of a spirit (usually gin) and water sweetened.
    gin sling
    a Singapore sling
Derived termsEdit
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.

Etymology 2Edit

From a shortening of spiderling.


sling (plural slings)

  1. A young or infant spider, such as one raised in captivity.

Further readingEdit


Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of slynge