Main definitions of ring in English

: ring1ring2



  • 1A small circular band, typically of precious metal and often set with one or more gemstones, worn on a finger as an ornament or a token of marriage, engagement, or authority.

    as modifier ‘a diamond ring’
    ‘he had a silver ring on one finger’
    ‘a bishop's ring’
    • ‘Her eyes kept on getting diverted to the diamond ring on her finger and she couldn't help but smile.’
    • ‘They held hands and recited vows, traded simple silver rings as wedding bands, and then kissed.’
    • ‘As well as selling rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces, Lopes also stocks Brazilian and Italian leather handbags in her shop.’
    • ‘He took her hand and slid a gorgeous ruby and diamond ring onto her middle finger.’
    • ‘Ford noticed an incredibly large diamond ring on her finger and several solid gold bracelets.’
    • ‘She was festooned with bangles, rings, necklaces, earrings and jewellery.’
    • ‘Chloe held up her hand to admire the diamond ring on her finger.’
    • ‘She wore huge diamond earrings and her fingers were loaded with rings of sapphire, emerald, and of course diamond.’
    • ‘This is worn with a variety of necklaces, bracelets, anklets, rings, and other ornaments.’
    • ‘He started walking to the office, twisting the silver ring around his finger as he thought.’
    • ‘In another car, Helen, who now had a diamond ring on her finger, told a shocked Howard that she had kissed his mother.’
    • ‘Inside the box, was a gold diadem set with topaz and amethyst, with a matching bracelet, which had chains extending into rings for each finger.’
    • ‘I fidgeted with the silver ring on my finger in a nervous manner, afraid of what he was going to do or say.’
    • ‘For instance, exporters of rough gemstones should start exporting finished gemstone products like rings and other jewellery, he said.’
    • ‘He looked angry as he stared at the closed door, twisting the silver ring around his finger.’
    • ‘She leaned against the doorframe, playing with a silver ring on her finger and trying to figure out what to say.’
    • ‘The diamond ring and the wedding band Nikolas placed on my finger six months ago blinds me as it catches the sun's rays.’
    • ‘There are four branches of the collection of individually-crafted earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings and brooches.’
    • ‘On her neck she wore a gold necklace of diamonds and she wore rings on her fingers.’
    • ‘She had on star earrings, and she wore many bracelets around her wrists and rings on almost every finger.’
    wedding ring, band of gold, marriage token
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1British Ornithology An aluminium strip secured round a bird's leg to identify it.
      ‘I put a numbered ring on each bird's leg’
      • ‘It is then possible for a bird to wear more than one ring on its leg.’
  • 2A ring-shaped or circular object.

    ‘an inflatable rubber ring’
    ‘fried onion rings’
    • ‘The onion rings were about as far removed from the original root vegetable as you can get.’
    • ‘Before leaving, I search Jerry's study until I find a set of keys on a plastic ring labeled Cabo.’
    • ‘He pushed her to the floor and hurriedly tied the chains to small, round iron rings which attached to the floor beneath Deserea.’
    • ‘My hands were shaking as I tried pick the right key from my ring of keys and put it into the lock.’
    • ‘Searching through the mass of keys on the ring, she found the one she wanted and slipped it into the keyhole on Ryder's door.’
    • ‘Popping the aluminum ring, he took a gulp and settled back for the wait.’
    • ‘The drive can either sit on your desk horizontally on top of a rubber ring that attaches to its side or it can be mounted vertically using a supplied stand.’
    • ‘John and Vanessa passed on the burgers (they said that they were vegetarians) and munched on some onion rings.’
    • ‘The rubber rings oscillated the bed while the train moved, much to the annoyance of the patient.’
    • ‘It uses rubber rings and to make up for their lack of shape, one side is coloured black, the other white and any quoit which falls black side up, doesn't score.’
    • ‘Brunner once looked on like an indulgent pledge master as his team spent weeks bombarding one another with flying rubber rings.’
    • ‘Suppose you have a rubber band, an apple and a ring doughnut.’
    • ‘He picked up his ring of keys and sorted through them, searching to the sound of jingling metal.’
    • ‘Zach was strapped onto a concave table, his legs and arms spread out, metal rings securing him at the wrists and ankles.’
    • ‘For answer, she saw her son reach into his jeans pocket, bring out his ring of keys to house and car and toss them over his shoulder.’
    • ‘Same goes for scenes of genuine sadness, such as Giamatti drinking his best bottle of wine alone, and with onion rings.’
    • ‘We stopped at this Denny's and I ordered a huge cheeseburger, fries, onion rings, and a huge vanilla shake.’
    • ‘An RPR network consists of a set of RPR switches connected together by two counter-rotating optical fiber rings.’
    • ‘A flotation ring was thrown to him and he hooked it with one arm, wrapping the other around her waist as they were pulled toward the cruiser.’
    • ‘When he doubled over I got out of my desk and clamped one of the rings of my binder on his nose and pulled as hard as I could.’
    circle, circlet, band, round, loop, hoop, circuit, halo, disc
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A circular marking or pattern.
      ‘she had black rings round her eyes’
      • ‘To reduce firewood consumption and fire rings, backpackers started carrying small portable stoves.’
      • ‘Of course, the coffee ring on the bottom is his de facto Seal of Office and a dead giveaway, but the grammar and lack of punctuation nail the lid firmly down.’
      • ‘He evidently didn't have much sleep, dark rings had appeared round his eyes.’
      • ‘Buoyant circles, rings and squiggles float like islands and lena, at times, an amusing semblance of comic-book drawing.’
      • ‘Sam's face was pasty, he had black rings around his eyes.’
      • ‘The bears are like moon bears but with astonishing golden coats, dark manes, and black, pandalike rings around the eyes.’
      • ‘They were multicolored, a dark outer ring circling inner shades of ocean blue.’
      • ‘The IOC has ownership of the Olympic Games and the five rings as a trade mark, one of the most important trademarks in world history.’
      • ‘The disease manifests as yellow rings and blotches on leaves or fruit.’
      • ‘She turned her head ever so slightly to look at him, and he saw that her eyes were red, and there were black rings under her eyes.’
      • ‘She had black rings around her eyes, and was yawning.’
      • ‘The colours of the rings and the white background were those that appeared on all the national flags of the world at the time of its creation.’
      • ‘Several of these craters had rings of black and purple squiggles.’
      • ‘The symbol of the ring or circle is used thematically for this coherence.’
      • ‘Her face was streaked with salt and drying tears and her lower lip looked red in a ring of teeth marks where she may have bitten it.’
      • ‘The light was fading and the sky had rings of black, purple and navy making their way up to the small point of light in the center part of the sky.’
      • ‘Her tail has a black tip with two rings close to each other about 5 inches from the tip.’
      • ‘Around this center circle is a ring showing the position of the sun and the moon in the sky, as well as the phase and angle of the moon.’
      • ‘However, her eyes now had light black rings encircling them from lack of sleep, and he couldn't remember the last time he saw her really eat a decent meal.’
      • ‘She had black rings under her eyes, and she looked very pale.’
    2. 2.2 A group of people or things arranged in a circle.
      ‘a ring of trees’
      ‘everyone sat in a ring, holding hands’
      • ‘There would be a ring of dudes and one dude would be in the middle and then one by one, someone would tackle you and if you fell in the first minute, you had to run a mile as fast as you could.’
      • ‘A ring of admirers had already formed around their table, and Nyrouya thinned her lips disapprovingly at those bystanders.’
      • ‘It was almost possible to see the location of the Palace, at the centre of concentric rings of islands.’
      • ‘In Samhain, banks of grass-covered earth in the shape of a sleeping woman wrap around a pool encircled in a ring of birch trees.’
      • ‘Haiden's smile only brightened wider when the dark elves approached the top of a cliff to look down on a small caravan of dwarves, camped in a ring of trees in the valley below.’
      • ‘A ring of ships floated around it, waiting for docking clearance.’
      • ‘In Long Beach Lot, the traffic missing from Blue Highway slumbers in the smoggy sunset, guarded by a ring of shadeless palms.’
      • ‘Downtown today is a strange and atmospheric four mile area cut off like a citadel from the rest of the region by a moat-like ring of freeways.’
      • ‘A ring of flames emerged from the center, and traveled outwards.’
      • ‘Tom found himself surrounded by familiar faces that blurred into a ring of gleaming teeth and eyes.’
      • ‘When Conch finished and looked around once more, she found a ring of nasty, unshaven, dirty, men had emerged from the forest.’
      • ‘Roustabouts shouting from the crow's nest float like Ascension angels on a ring of lights.’
      • ‘Within moments, Maru and Zach had found themselves in a ring of eleven men; each one looking as determined and concentrated as them.’
      • ‘Miyoko found a small ring of bushes that kept out the wind.’
      • ‘The guests form a ring enclosing the bride, Ona, and men dance with her.’
      • ‘Suddenly they heard a voice outside the ring of zombies, yelling out the counter-curse in a loud, clear voice, over and over again.’
      • ‘He had just stepped into the center of the ring of Falcons.’
      • ‘Behind these rings of trees are yet more grassy fields, some wild and overgrown, others kept trim and tidy.’
      • ‘A ring of mountains covered with lush vegetation frames the city.’
      • ‘A second later, ten psymancers appeared in a ring around her.’
      circle, group, knot, cluster, bunch, band, gathering, throng, crowd, flock, assemblage, mob, pack
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3 A circular or spiral course.
      ‘they were dancing energetically in a ring’
      • ‘Under a colorless sky stained with clouds, ten sylphs dance in a ring.’
      • ‘‘We dance round in a ring and suppose / But the Secret sits in the middle and knows,’ wrote the poet Robert Frost.’
      • ‘The women joined the men and the couples formed a circle for rueda (a Cuban relative of American square dance, done in a ring with a caller).’
      • ‘If Nafsani were able to move, she'd probably go in the direction of the ship, so…if I could find it, I could work out in a ring from there.’
      • ‘In scene 1, Mystic Circles of the Maidens, thirteen women tread in a tight ring at the centre.’
      • ‘It is hard to make the couplet ‘We dance round in a ring…’ into a fortune-cookie fortune or ‘Stir vigorously’ into a stirring poem.’
      • ‘Blake remembers the Artichoke Inn, on the muddy lane through Lambeth Marsh, and the village maids and the lusty lads outside it, dancing in a ring.’
      • ‘Fire burst in a ring around me and above the bowl with the champagne.’
      • ‘Fire flared around in a ring, encircling the group, as the fire seemed to burn from Favriel's eyes.’
      • ‘Bent on their revels, other peasants dance stoutly in a ring to the music of a fiddle and a bagpipe: the women with dogged concentration, the men with carefree high-kicks.’
    4. 2.4British A flat circular device forming part of a gas or electric hob, providing heat from below.
      ‘a gas ring’
      • ‘Each table has its own gas ring, and you cook the beef as you need it, then dip the paper-thin slices in chilli or sesame sauce.’
      • ‘A higher-wattage gas ring is designed to handle the shape and heat demands of a convex shaped wok with ease.’
    5. 2.5Astronomy A thin band or disc of rock and ice particles round a planet.
      ‘Saturn's rings’
      • ‘It was positioned almost outside of the ring, near the planet itself.’
      • ‘Dust sized particles dominated the debris ring, but good bolder sized bits rounded out the mix.’
      • ‘He was the first man to see craters on the moon, sun spots and the rings of Saturn.’
      • ‘Besides the planet's multicolored rings and three moons there was little else above the green and blue world.’
      • ‘Was the Federation correct in working with the Son'a to harvest the metaphasic radiation from the rings of the planet?’
    6. 2.6
      short for tree ring
      • ‘Their ring patterns are compared with those of felled trees or with the wood from buildings whose ring patterns overlap the living tree.’
      • ‘Brown remarks that the work's structure related to the concentric rings of a tree trunk.’
      • ‘Rays radiate from the centre of the trunk, and the heartwood - the inner rings - differs from the outer rings, which are called the sapwood.’
      • ‘I realized she was assessing my back muscles, judging their strength, reading them the way a botanist reads the rings of a tree's trunk.’
      • ‘In this way the city grew much like the annular rings of a tree, with successive perimeters being added as population growth dictated.’
    7. 2.7
      ‘through traffic is diverted along the outer ring’
      short for ring road
      • ‘O'Callaghan said UEP would also consider funding part of the proposed outer ring motorway to help alleviate congestion.’
    8. 2.8Archaeology usually as modifier A circular prehistoric earthwork, typically consisting of a bank and ditch.
      ‘a ring ditch’
      • ‘A causewayed ring ditch is a type of prehistoric monument.’
    9. 2.9vulgar slang A person's anus.
  • 3An enclosed space, surrounded by seating for spectators, in which a sport, performance, or show takes place.

    ‘a circus ring’
    • ‘She trotted around the ring, doing circles at the far end.’
    • ‘A large black man entered the ring, and towered over Zeus by at least eight inches.’
    • ‘What do think I'm running here - a three ring circus?’
    • ‘Then I picked up my sword, which I had rested on the fence surrounding the ring.’
    • ‘Murdoch took the lead rope attached to his halter and led him into the ring.’
    • ‘Scene 2: An enclosed ring outside the stables at Belleterre, an hour later.’
    • ‘Soon, the Christmas season for the Griswold family starts to look like a three ring circus.’
    • ‘He gave me press credentials, which allowed me to sit at the ring apron.’
    • ‘Published breed standards and show rings created islands of control and predictability in a turbulent world.’
    • ‘The audience were seated in rows of benches surrounding the ring.’
    • ‘Facing us was the usual circus ring, carpeted with sawdust; the lights dimmed and the show began.’
    • ‘After about a half circle of the ring they were asked to stop their horses.’
    • ‘Attention was one thing, but hanging out with Wil Davis was like being in the center ring at a circus.’
    • ‘Her stomach seemed to be trying out for a three ring circus, with all the flips that it was doing.’
    • ‘Kris sometimes just saddled her up, walked into the ring, and sat thinking on her back.’
    • ‘Movies themselves became their own three rings circuses of over the top theatrics.’
    • ‘Watching from many rows behind the center ring Marvin sits surrounded by eager children all of whom gaze at the ringmaster in awe.’
    • ‘The overhead shots of the circus ring seem at first sight to be POV yet in the shots of Lola her eyes alternate between moving in panic and being actually shut.’
    • ‘The darkness around the arena made it hard for spectators to see the ring.’
    • ‘Suddenly, Alex ran to one of the stone steps leading from the seats into the ring, and rushed back towards her.’
    arena, enclosure, area, field, ground, platform
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 A roped enclosure for boxing or wrestling.
      ‘a boxing ring’
      ‘he was knocking me all around the ring’
      • ‘George Foreman talks about his success in business, and the fact that he may go back into the boxing ring.’
      • ‘The last mode of play is knockout tournament wherein up to 16 players that you've unlocked in the main mode can fight for ring supremacy.’
      • ‘The final bout in the boxing ring is genuinely exciting, although the evening seems to tail off, lacking a real ending.’
      • ‘I felt as if we were in a boxing ring, facing off my opponent.’
      • ‘After a quick introduction the film jumps back twenty years to show us how these two ended up in the ring together.’
      • ‘It's the tune to listen to before running into the boxing ring; far smarter and ultimately more cool than Simply the Best.’
      • ‘As Lola works to keep Manny out of the boxing ring and out of trouble, complications quickly arise.’
      • ‘He noted how they positioned the camera outside the ring for round 1, but then went inside for Round 2.’
      • ‘In exchange, Rocawear gets placement in the game, via ring signage and a tag on Afro Thunder's boxing trunks.’
      • ‘And, besides, Danny is more interested in going out dancing with new lover Bella than he is on being light on his feet in the boxing ring.’
      • ‘Surrounding the ring are members of Flair's Four Horsemen group as well as Dusty Rhodes and several other babyfaces.’
      • ‘The ring physician examines Harry Campbell after he collapsed in his corner following a decision loss to Al Medrano.’
      • ‘The film is about a young girl who isn't the easiest going gal at high school and ends up finding a certain peace in the boxing ring.’
      • ‘Against all odds, this blue-collar youth will make it in the boxing ring.’
      • ‘Perhaps another tragedy but created not in the flashpoint of the boxing ring but over a phenomenal career was that of Muhammad Ali.’
      • ‘These events are intercut and cross over each other until the moment that Ali first explodes into the boxing ring.’
      • ‘There are jerks on both side of the gender gap and Diana doesn't seem to fit in anywhere except in the boxing ring.’
      • ‘Slowly moving forward, Lee and Ty circle around the ring two times and approach each other in the middle again.’
      • ‘The fighters circled the ring for a little while, but it didn't take them as long to get into some action.’
      • ‘The sand was abruptly gone, and he faced the Hulk across a boxing ring, in the gym where a kid with a zip gun once tried to kill Jack McGee.’
    2. 3.2the ring The profession, sport, or institution of boxing.
      ‘Fogerty quit the ring to play professional rugby league’
      • ‘The Prince was so sold on his own divinity that he used to make the longest, most seriously overblown entrances to boxing arenas in ring history.’
      • ‘Molina remains the last great ring star to come out of that one-time great fight town of San Jose, California.’
      • ‘Though both are former champions, their three-fight series was not for any ring title.’
  • 4A group of people engaged in a shared enterprise, especially one involving illegal or unscrupulous activity.

    ‘the police had been investigating the drug ring’
    • ‘In related news, seven Brits pleaded guilty today to taking part in one of the world's biggest Net porn rings.’
    • ‘The $80,000,000,000 claimed by organized crime and drug rings will now go to honest workers.’
    • ‘Three people have been jailed for a total of 10 years for their involvement in a multi-million pound software counterfeiting ring.’
    • ‘Stephen described how he leaded as chief of his group, ambushing into the house where the drug ring was stationed.’
    • ‘The FBI placed an undercover agent in a ring of anti-government anarchists who called themselves DOI, Day of Inclement or hostile weather.’
    • ‘At first they don't get along, but in the course of investigating a murder, they uncover a drug ring… and a friendship.’
    • ‘You were out on one mission and now you've developed all kinds of conspiracy theories and crime ring ideas.’
    • ‘It seems that the pair were working undercover in a drug ring.’
    • ‘His drug ring had been disrupted due to the raid, and Natalie had permanently wounded his shoulder with her bullet.’
    • ‘Criminals pursuing identity theft, phishing scams, and spam rings are running rampant on the internet.’
    • ‘To cure Fred of his practical joking, Barney convinces his friend that he is running a counterfeiting ring out of his basement.’
    • ‘There was always some sort of gang fights or drug rings or brothels around here.’
    • ‘One didn't go into a drug smuggling ring and then walk right back out of it, especially if he sold out secrets to the FBI.’
    • ‘You just happened to discover the methods of operation of a criminal ring that has confounded the authorities for the past three months.’
    • ‘If he agreed to the job the Doctor had just about given him the green light to take over small countries or start up his own drug smuggling ring.’
    • ‘Five Brits have been arrested in the United Arab Emirates under suspicion of involvement in an Internet drug smuggling ring.’
    • ‘It's just that there seems to be a connection between the drug dealer ring and the Piper…’
    • ‘Clever editing had Bertie Ahern involved in a ring supplying worn Westlife underwear to fans in the east.’
    • ‘It's a high place of crime, drug rings, and prostitution due to the obvious lack of law enforcement.’
    • ‘But besides being the only woman in the drug ring, there was nothing out of the ordinary about her.’
    gang, syndicate, cartel, mob, band, organization, confederation, confederacy, federation, union, association, circle, society, combine, consortium, alliance, league, cabal, cell, coterie, crew, junta
    View synonyms
  • 5Chemistry
    A number of atoms bonded together to form a closed loop in a molecule.

    ‘a benzene ring’
    • ‘Nanotubes are microscopic tubes constructed from carbon rings which can be used to build logic circuits.’
    • ‘Carbon nanotubes are cylinders made from rings of carbon atoms that would be used as the channel between where the power enters and flows out of a transistor.’
    • ‘Unlike other groups of lipids, steroids have a molecular structure which contains rings of atoms.’
  • 6Mathematics
    A set of elements with two binary operations, addition and multiplication, the second being distributive over the first and associative.

    • ‘Are there (associative, distributive) rings in which the addition is not commutative?’


  • 1Surround (someone or something), especially for protection or containment.

    ‘the courthouse was ringed with police’
    • ‘It's right where the shantytown used to be, ringed by businesses and middle-class homes.’
    • ‘It is tastefully landscaped, dotted with islets, ringed by a trail and helpful interpretive signs.’
    • ‘Eight fortified guard towers ringed the eight-sided central keep, lining its periphery like the spindly legs of a gigantic spider.’
    • ‘Underscored by an ecological development brief, the new campus has a green landscaped centre, ringed by lecture halls and a university library.’
    • ‘Police had ringed the theater with Metro buses touching bumper to bumper.’
    • ‘The writing house on the central peak, ringed by other peaks with valley around it and the narrow drop away to the sea in front, reminds again of a tongue in a surrounding landscape mouth.’
    • ‘A wide clearing, ringed by trees in full bloom, silver fish glinting in the waters of the small stream winding through it, cutting through the emerald grass.’
    • ‘A circle of the Iowan pavement ringed the Jeep, but beyond the five-foot diameter circle of pavement, a lush carpet of emerald grass and tiny wildflowers began.’
    • ‘Gardens fill the bottom of Torment Basin, ringed by moraines, scoured rock, and living ice.’
    • ‘In between, demonstrators had ringed the Sheraton to prevent an alternative entry to the Convention Center.’
    • ‘I found myself in a wide stone court, ringed by tall, silvery-gray walls pierced by windows.’
    • ‘‘It's just over there,’ Mari said as she came over, pointing to a building down the street, ringed in by a chain link fence.’
    • ‘The country rises from sea level in the south to rugged highlands in the north and west, and Sana'a is ringed by mountains that legend says flew from Sinai to Yemen.’
    • ‘The day was filled with Sun, and even the little camp, ringed by stone as it was, grew warm.’
    • ‘Last night found that his bicycle, ringed round with chains like tinsel on a Xmas tree, had had its seat stolen.’
    • ‘The military base, situated on a grassy hilltop overlooking the town of Gyumri, is ringed by a snow-capped garland of mountain peaks.’
    • ‘It is a creeper-clad 1930s property, set in its own grounds and ringed by mature trees and south-facing lawns.’
    circle, encircle, circumscribe, encompass, loop, gird, girdle, enclose, surround, embrace, form a ring round, go around, hem in, fence in, confine, seal off
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Form a line around the edge of (something circular)
      ‘dark shadows ringed his eyes’
      • ‘Nearby is another Lake Mashu which is ringed by 200 metre high walls.’
      • ‘Where his were ringed in dark green, these were colored deep blue, almost black.’
      • ‘And then, around one of its many bends, the river rapidly emptied into a lake many leagues across and ringed by small hills.’
      • ‘She had long thick brown hair, with hazel eyes ringed in black, fair skin and the cutest smile that you adored about her.’
      • ‘She placed a fountain in a circle of pebbles ringed first by gravel, then by grasses, the whole surrounded by a circular pathway of railway sleepers set into natural stone.’
      • ‘Round eyes as dark as a faery's stared out from sunken and sallow sockets, ringed by dark purple bags.’
      • ‘She pointed to a large grassy circle that was ringed by tall bushes.’
      • ‘His lip was split, his nose bloody, and his eyes were both ringed by dark bruises.’
      • ‘The man finally got what he wanted, and Trish stared at him with suddenly dark gray eyes ringed in yellow.’
      • ‘Shadows ringed his eyes, and his eyelids were half opened, barely looking at his father, who was giving him an earful of harsh Russian words.’
      • ‘The face changed now to Marta's face, still ringed by flame.’
      • ‘A crown of striped horns ringed his great ugly head.’
      • ‘The clear, blue water sparkled like glass, and was ringed by fifty-foot oak trees.’
      • ‘The painting depicts a calm, cerulean blue crater lake, ringed by craggy rock that flickers from lavender to cream, ocher to gray.’
      • ‘Dark marks ringed the boy's bony wrist, livid against pale flesh.’
      • ‘Rather than a fireplace, it boasted a pit dug into the dirt floor, ringed by large rocks.’
      • ‘Despite the dearth of light, his pupils were the size of pin-pricks, and were ringed in jagged circlets of gold.’
      • ‘Her eyes were swollen, dark circles ringed them - she looked as if she hadn't slept in days, which she hadn't.’
      • ‘Circles ringed and shadowed them, but still they twinkled brightly.’
      • ‘Artic Pi, an oval form painted in shimmering silver and ringed by colored bands, suggests a mirror.’
    2. 1.2British Draw a circle round (something), especially to focus attention on it.
      ‘an area of Soho had been ringed in red’
      • ‘Ring the correct answer below.’
  • 2British Ornithology
    Put an aluminium strip around the leg of (a bird) for subsequent identification.

    ‘only a small proportion of warblers are caught and ringed’
    • ‘Once you have ringed the bird you write down the ring number, the species of bird, age, sex, date, time, wing length and weight.’
    1. 2.1 Put a circular band through the nose of (a bull, pig, or other farm animal) to lead or otherwise control it.
      ‘in the mid 1850s there were fines for not ringing swine’
      • ‘Old hands are able to throw with either hand in either direction and will then really impress their spectators by facing away from the hook and swinging in the opposite direction such that upon its return the bull is ringed.’
  • 3informal Fraudulently change the identity of (a motor vehicle), typically by changing its registration plate.

    ‘there may be an organization which has ringed the stolen car to be resold’
    • ‘I had to have a Vehicle Identity Check carried out at a VOSA centre - for Cat D they are only interested in whether you've ringed the car or not.’
  • 4

    short for ringbark
    • ‘They slashed and ringed the bark to stop these powerful trees putting out leaves.’


  • hold the ring

    • Monitor a dispute or conflict without becoming involved in it.

      ‘the judge is there to hold the ring impartially and to direct the jury on the law’
      • ‘If the allies could hold the ring for five years, they might be able to lay foundations that would hold.’
      • ‘Management science has historically attempted to hold the ring of hierarchical control whilst purveying the ideology of ‘industrial democracy’ and humanised work relations.’
      • ‘What we have endeavoured to do, in a public policy sense, is hold the ring and enable them to offer the services they provide.’
      • ‘We can simply observe that in a trial with counsel prosecuting, counsel for a co-accused and a judge to hold the ring, the material got in.’
      • ‘British officials, some with little or no experience of the Middle East, came to regard themselves as umpires holding the ring between Arab and Jew.’
      • ‘Unlike lawyer negotiation, mediation is conducted by one neutral mediator who does not act for either party, but holds the ring between them.’
      • ‘It could splinter into civil war and destabilise the whole region if the interim government, US forces and United Nations fail to hold the ring among factions struggling for power.’
      • ‘The Archbishop of Canterbury's attempts to hold the ring are increasingly challenged.’
      • ‘In the meantime antiterrorist action will be taken to hold the ring, to limit violence to what a British minister once unguardedly called an acceptable level.’
      • ‘When an army spokesman was asked on the radio whether our forces could go on holding the ring, he refused to comment.’
  • run (or make) rings round (or around) someone

    • informal Outclass or outwit someone very easily.

      ‘I had to be very firm with her, or she'd have run rings around me’
      • ‘It's also why big corporations, with their bureaucratic structures, often find small businesses running rings around them.’
      • ‘She looked like she was running rings round him in there.’
      • ‘The result, says MacDonald, was that the prisoners ran rings round them.’
      • ‘We have got to do more because the criminals are running rings around us.’
      • ‘He had a reputation as an intellectual lightweight, and a wife who could apparently run rings around him, Barbara, who ran a small but commercially very successful art gallery a short walk from their Hampstead home.’
      • ‘It was wet, it was a freezing afternoon and Kildare collapsed to a Mayo team that ran rings around us in Newbridge.’
      • ‘With so much experience down the years, I can usually run rings around them.’
      • ‘Huntley replied: ‘I wouldn't say I was running rings round them.’’
      • ‘While he is playing the game of coalition politics, Labour are running rings around him.’
      • ‘They have been naïve and allowed our European partners to run rings around us.’
      surpass, outshine, outclass, overshadow, eclipse, exceed, excel, transcend, cap, top, outstrip, outdo, put to shame, make look pale by comparison, put in the shade, be better than, beat, outplay, outperform, upstage, dwarf
      View synonyms
  • throw one's hat in the ring


Old English hring, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch ring, German Ring, also to the noun rank.




Main definitions of ring in English

: ring1ring2



  • 1no object Make a clear resonant or vibrating sound.

    ‘a shot rang out’
    ‘a bell rang loudly’
    • ‘In the fields outside of Darik, the pure sound of two clashing swords rang out.’
    • ‘The metal of the gun hit the floor with a clatter; the sound rang out in the silence.’
    • ‘Hearing clambering and the rustling of people around him, Ikeda remained angrily at his spot even as a woman's voice rang out, clear and strong.’
    • ‘The blow rang out loudly as the blade connected with the brass fist, and then the hand nearly came off the door!’
    • ‘He struck the harp so that the sound rang out into hall.’
    • ‘The shot rang out loudly, and Wer snapped back dodging the bullet.’
    • ‘You patiently wait in line some place, you get to the front, you catch someone's attention, and then the phone behind the counter rings.’
    • ‘Etskae's childish voice rang out, clearly audible even over the sounds of battle.’
    • ‘Two gunshots rang out like two clear bells in the night as the angel of retribution silently passed.’
    • ‘The voice of the priest rang out so loudly that he could be heard through the rest of the town.’
    • ‘From not afar, the bells of puja rang out loud and clear.’
    • ‘A sudden crashing sound rang out, and somebody was being pushed aside.’
    • ‘At the start of our third year here, Elsa and I were dragging ourselves out of bed as the waking bell rang out cold and clear.’
    • ‘The sound of heavy hooves upon the hardened earth rang out not far off.’
    • ‘The shot rang out, cracking loudly and landing in an unknown spot.’
    • ‘Sirens split the night and from everywhere came the sound of people; her clear voice rang out above it all as she sang the words from a song Jag knew very well.’
    • ‘It rang out loud and clear over Dylan's bass, and Martin quickly became the most prominent player in the jam.’
    • ‘The familiar words rang out, an unseen audience was applauding, and the theme music was starting up.’
    • ‘Maggie is cooking in her kitchen when the doorbell rings.’
    • ‘For a long second the deafening sound of the shot rang out and echoed through the otherwise silent countryside.’
    chime, ring out, chime out, toll, peal, knell
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Cause (a bell or alarm) to ring.
      ‘he walked up to the door and rang the bell’
      • ‘I closed my phone and tucking it in my pocket, I rang the door bell.’
      • ‘Dave walked up to the front door and rang the bell.’
      • ‘He carried me right up to the door and rung the bell with difficulty.’
      • ‘Macduff shouts for alarm bells to be rung to wake the castle because the king has been killed.’
      • ‘Before Alex even rang the bell, Elle opened the door and ran out to give Alex a hug.’
      • ‘Are you going to stand there all day or are you actually going to ring the door bell?’
      • ‘With a kind of detachment, he walked, as casually as he could under the circumstances, towards the door and rung the bell.’
      • ‘They walk to the front door and Mike rings the bell.’
      • ‘An hour later a very attractive woman rang the door bell then let herself in.’
      • ‘Hailey hurriedly trudged up to her front door, rang the bell and waited for an answer.’
      • ‘I walked up the stairs to the double oak doors and rang the bell.’
      • ‘Adrian found himself wanting to knock on the door loudly just moments after he rung the bell.’
      • ‘As if on que, Liz exited her room just as Jason rang the door bell.’
      • ‘He speeded to Winona's house and frantically knocked on the door and rang the bell.’
      • ‘The red-haired lady stormed over to our front door and rang the bell.’
      • ‘He rang the bell and a few seconds later the door slowly swung open.’
      • ‘Certainly, talking to Popin Pete doesn't ring any gangsta alarm bells.’
      • ‘Seth sighed and walked over to open the door, as somebody rang the bell.’
      • ‘Taking a deep breath he opened the gate, walked up to the door; and rang the door bell.’
      • ‘Something else to ring a few alarm bells is the method of payment being requested.’
      toll, sound, strike, peal
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 (of a telephone) produce a series of resonant or vibrating sounds to signal an incoming call.
      ‘the phone rang again as I replaced it’
      • ‘Just as she was finishing her favorite prayers, the telephone rang.’
      • ‘The telephone began ringing and set my paint palette down to pick it up.’
      • ‘Just as Raine had shut her eyes, the telephone rang, startling her.’
      • ‘Dragging herself from her car that evening and up the walk toward her apartment, she heard the sound of her telephone ringing.’
      • ‘When he finally reopened his eyes having completed the last one he realized that his telephone was ringing.’
      • ‘She smiled and kissed his cheek as the telephone rang again.’
      • ‘When the telephone rang, she jumped and looked at it, wondering who it might be.’
      • ‘As I lay there on my bed, thinking of the summer, the telephone rang.’
      • ‘The telephone rang again, and this time, Tess didn't answer it, afraid of what the person would say this time.’
      • ‘Although this scene, like the climax of Halloween, begins in a bedroom, once the telephone rings we enter Krueger's dream world.’
      • ‘Trey was just about to order up some dinner when the telephone rang.’
      • ‘When she was almost done, and only had to do the dishes, the telephone rang.’
      • ‘It was eight-thirty when the telephone rang, and I knew it was Chandler, wanting to know when I was picking him up.’
      • ‘In December 1994 Harvey Weinstein was woken at 2am by the telephone ringing beside his bed.’
      • ‘The telephone rang as Esther was thinking these things and Jay Cee asked her to come into the office.’
      • ‘A few moments later, his telephone rang, and Sparks informed him that Dr. Boyer was on the secured line.’
      • ‘The telephone would ring, but she did not have the strength to answer it.’
      • ‘Stephen was awakened by the telephone ringing next to his head.’
      • ‘The telephone rang just as Mark got home from his job at the pharmacy.’
      • ‘Has he stopped because the telephone is ringing?’
    3. 1.3 Call for service or attention by sounding a bell.
      ‘Ruth, will you ring for some tea?’
      • ‘A servant brought Clark meals, and he started to get used to ringing for things, being able to give his whole attention to what was in front of him.’
      • ‘The colonel nodded before abruptly turning from his nephew to ring for the nearest servant.’
      • ‘The house is clearly deserted when the ghost of Marley appears - otherwise Scrooge's first act would be to ring for his servant.’
      • ‘Penelope took her eyes away from Adam to ring for a maid, and to ask for tea when she arrived.’
      • ‘I debated whether to ring for a tisane but decided that I could bear another hour rather than disturb her hard earned rest.’
    4. 1.4with object Sound (the hour, a peal, etc.) on a bell or bells.
      ‘a bell ringing the hour’
      • ‘The bell rings a harsh peal and the girls stop in their tracks.’
      • ‘The clock that hung on the wall rang every hour the sweet peal of chimes.’
      • ‘The bell rang its heavenly sound around the school and Connie raced out the door before a single person could stop her.’
      • ‘The bell rings its monotonous peal of imprisonment, mocking us for being forced to follow its commands.’
      • ‘Soon both of them were settled on the bed, munching contentedly as the clock rang the early hour.’
      • ‘I thanked God profusely the moment the bell rang its sweet sound and officially ended the period.’
      • ‘The bell rings its ugly sound and footsteps speed in the halls, the footsteps of tardy children running to class.’
      herald, signal, announce, proclaim, usher in, introduce, launch, celebrate, mark, signify, indicate, give notice of
      View synonyms
  • 2British with object Call by telephone.

    ‘I rang her this morning’
    ‘Harriet rang Dorothy up next day’
    no object ‘she rang to tell him the good news’
    • ‘Handing them out to staff as a perk can create more hassle than it's worth when employees start ringing up your tech support wanting to know what to do next.’
    • ‘Thus it was that I asked Mrs Taylor if I could use their phone and rang my parents, waking them up at about 2am.’
    • ‘Pete grabbed the phone and rang the rest of the team.’
    • ‘She didn't cry, or ring home for help, or panic when the money ran out.’
    • ‘As a business user they simply rang the customer and asked anyone who answered the phone whether they could supply us.’
    • ‘Caelyn wasn't too concerned, it was probably Roger or Jeremy ringing up about the movies.’
    • ‘They watched, for once, with due solemnity as she picked up her phone, rang Greg's office, and found he wasn't in.’
    • ‘And David, at the other end, wondered what had happened to make her hang up on him, but neither had the courage to ring back.’
    • ‘While writing this column I picked up the phone and rang a Dublin travel agent to book a seat to Malaga next weekend.’
    • ‘Mike had rung me early this morning saying that a mate had offered him a table at some posh restaurant tonight for free and told me to come.’
    • ‘In any case, some of the same people who rejected her are now ringing up.’
    • ‘I gave him the number to ring back, and nothing happened; eventually, pushing my luck, I rang him back.’
    • ‘So people are ringing up and there isn't a chance they will get their questions answered?’
    • ‘Nothing was worth watching on the television, so he decided to ring Joy on the telephone.’
    • ‘He had just acquired a three-day leave from work and had rung her up that morning to tell her he was coming to see her.’
    • ‘Special Branch arranged to be present the following day, when the anonymous caller was supposed to ring back.’
    • ‘I managed at one time to get to the telephone and ring the Philippines consul in Nicosia, who rang the owners of the taverna and gave them a mouthful.’
    • ‘He told the AA man he would ring back in half an hour.’
    • ‘When the message was left on my mobile cell phone, I rang my grandmother.’
    • ‘Technicians ensure that all calls are followed up as required - before the customer needs to ring back.’
    telephone, phone, call, call up, ring up, give someone a ring, give someone a call, get someone on the phone, get on the phone to, get, reach, dial, make a call, place a call, make a call to, place a call to
    View synonyms
  • 3ring with/tono object (of a place) resound or reverberate with (a sound or sounds)

    ‘the room rang with laughter’
    • ‘‘The halls rang to laughter, and we had such fun,’ murmured Verdana, sadly.’
    resound, reverberate, resonate, echo, re-echo
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 (of a person's ears) be filled with a continuous buzzing or humming sound, especially as the after-effect of a blow or loud noise.
      ‘he yelled so loudly that my eardrums rang’
      • ‘His ears were still ringing from the loud music in the pub.’
      • ‘He panted hard, his ears ringing and heart pounding against his chest.’
      • ‘My ears were ringing from the loud noise suddenly halting.’
      • ‘The din that followed was loud enough to make Kratos' ears ring despite the plugs; he knew that he felt nothing compared to the two mercenaries' agony.’
      • ‘I woke again with a pounding headache and my ears were ringing.’
      • ‘The boom was loud enough to make my ears ring, even through the protective mufflers of the helmet.’
      • ‘My ears were still ringing from the crashing guitar chords, and my head hurt.’
      • ‘Before she could blink, she was sprawled a few feet back, her ears still ringing from the force of the blow.’
      • ‘But if your ears ring after loud noise or your hearing goes a little blurry, that means they are temporarily damaged.’
      • ‘All of a sudden his ears started ringing, the thing was screaming, and loud.’
      • ‘That's when Johnny hears the ice shift; the cannonball sound makes his ears ring, and cracks run through the ice by his boots.’
      • ‘My ears were still ringing from the sounds I had heard earlier on at the police station.’
      • ‘I had been in the middle of a cheese omelet when her ears rung with the sound of ‘Hey Jude’ by the Beatles.’
      • ‘I stopped halfway through my swing, my ears ringing from the loud sound.’
      • ‘Blues sagged to the ground with his ears ringing from the noise.’
      • ‘Their opponents were not as well off, their ears ringing and their eyes stinging from the charge.’
      • ‘The crack of the whip was so loud; her ears were ringing, not to mention the whelp on her back.’
      • ‘I finally look up at his face, because his voice is so loud that I feel my ears are ringing.’
      • ‘After almost ten seconds of continuous fire everyone stopped, their ears ringing viciously.’
      • ‘Their blades clashed and left her ears ringing at the sudden noise.’
    2. 3.2ring with Be filled or permeated with (a particular quality)
      ‘a clever retort which rang with contempt’
      • ‘No matter how it paints it, the crimes in The Crime of Padre Amaro ring with a feeling of being excessive in the name of redress.’
      • ‘Despite the great quality of its prose, the story itself rings with superficiality, a certain lack of true profundity that can be covered but not overcome.’
      • ‘Intermittent snippets of conversation suggesting rehearsal out-takes rang with a self-consciously clever sitcom snap, ultimately not terribly enlightening or deep.’
      • ‘Her performance has so many qualities and rings with such truth.’
      • ‘The Agronomist is a clever title, one that rings with truth as well as ironic wordplay.’
    3. 3.3no object, with complement Convey a specified impression or quality.
      ‘the author's honesty rings true’
      • ‘Though the central action rings true, the surrounding ironies may pile up too heavily.’
      • ‘For those who focus on the mass storage space, the reasoning rings true as well.’
      • ‘Money was money and the wife would probably do a better job of running away the next time; for the first time, Kratos felt that reasoning ring hollow.’
      • ‘It has a story that still rings true today and sports a good handful of excellent performances.’
      • ‘For this is not simply a ‘message’ play, but a harrowing account of one family's trauma that rings horribly true.’
      • ‘But this of course only rings true if you use many of its features.’
      • ‘‘Christine has a remarkable instinct for that moment of performance that rings true,’ adds Campbell.’


  • 1An act of ringing a bell, or the resonant sound caused by this.

    ‘there was a ring at the door’
    • ‘Thenix let out a breath as the game's last ring sounded, signaling the red team's win.’
    • ‘The ring of the doorbell pulled Thomas out of his musings.’
    • ‘They heard the faint ring of the bell in the background, and Melanie looked up.’
    • ‘Finally we heard the shrill ring of the last bell, and Liz and I grabbed our bags and swiftly bolted from the room.’
    • ‘Cody was in the middle of a Behind The Music episode on Linkin Park when the door bell's irritating ring drifted to his room.’
    • ‘As they went, the sound of twelve rings echoed in her ears so to remind her of how close she had come to death - and how truly lucky she was to have defied it.’
    • ‘Rain and I decided to give it four door bell rings before we all had to go in and actually do our job.’
    • ‘The ring resounded throughout the dead city like it had the first three times.’
    • ‘Blade swirled around when she heard the familiar ring of the doorbell.’
    • ‘We walked in through the doorway, and less than a second later, the shrill ring of the bell sounded.’
    • ‘In fact, he was… actually kind of cute, she giggled nervously, stopping after the ring of the doorbell.’
    • ‘Amused by the tone that he knew held no jokes in it, the ring of the doorbell released him of his job of having to sit around and say nothing out of politeness, he stood.’
    • ‘The ring of the doorbell saved Tyson from yet another ‘mindless’ conversation with his little sister.’
    • ‘At that moment, the bell rang off in the school with a loud ring.’
    ringing, chime, carillon, toll, tolling, peal, knell
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Each of a series of resonant or vibrating sounds signalling an incoming telephone call.
      ‘she picked up the phone on the first ring’
      • ‘Reaching for a new pencil to replace the one I've just snapped in frustration, I hear the ring of my cell phone.’
      • ‘Moments later, he picked up the telephone on the first ring.’
      • ‘Her mother's voice boomed into my ear after the fourth ring.’
      • ‘Buried under his covers he could only faintly hear the echoes of rings somewhere else.’
      • ‘And who wants to have it worsen at the sound of an annoying ring of a telephone?’
      • ‘A week later, the girl had gone out with him again and only days later, the telephone ring had woken Suzie up again.’
      • ‘Which was about five minutes later, and I had nearly fallen asleep when the loud ring woke me up.’
      • ‘Her ears were straining to pick up the sound of the telephone ring.’
      • ‘Pushing one errant lock of hair away from her face, Haley strode over to her nightstand and picked up a cordless telephone on the fourth ring.’
      • ‘After three rings, the beep came on and he heard a crackle, along with sounds of street traffic and pedestrians.’
      • ‘A third ring forced the major to answer his incoming transmission.’
      • ‘Quinn walked down the hall to a small half circle table against the wall just as the first ring of the telephone sounded.’
      • ‘I dial your number into the cordless telephone, 3 rings later someone picks up the phone.’
      • ‘I dialled the number and sat listening to the buzzes that represented rings.’
      • ‘Each time it rang I'd run to the phone and answer it between the first and second ring.’
      • ‘All of a sudden there was a loud ring and I jumped, glancing around the room I was in, thinking the cordless phone was not too far away.’
      • ‘His hands fumbled at first but he finally found it as the last ring echoed, and answered it.’
      • ‘After several monotone rings, he found it and handed the phone to me.’
      • ‘He moved forward for a better look when a shrill ring echoed through the silence and made Diego jumped three feet in the air before realizing it was his mobile that was ringing.’
      • ‘After three rings there was a click and a couple of seconds later Laura's easily recognizable voice floated to my end of the line.’
    2. 1.2British informal A telephone call.
      ‘I'd better give her a ring tomorrow’
      • ‘I feel like hearing her voice again so I take out my cell phone and give her a ring.’
      • ‘I don't know about Chris' schedule, but I'll call him now and give you a ring back.’
      • ‘No matter if you're here or China, just give me a ring and we can talk.’
      • ‘Could she really pick up the phone and give him a ring?’
      • ‘But I guess we could give you a ring whenever we practiced for like, more than five minutes.’
      • ‘You know if you get anything you have to ask additionally you know just feel free to give me a ring.’
      call, telephone call, phone call
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3in singular A loud, clear sound or tone.
      ‘the ring of sledgehammers on metal’
      • ‘The small ring echoed through the what appeared to be empty building.’
      • ‘For example, sheathing and unsheathing swords gets a nice, reverberating ring as the blade enters or exits the scabbard.’
      • ‘Then it came, a big loud ring they thought would never come.’
      • ‘Strangely, she thought she heard soft singing under the rhythmic ring of a hammer on metal…’
      • ‘A moment or two later there is a loud musical ring that echoes through the entire house.’
      • ‘There was a loud ring, as a hammer on as anvil, and a shower of sparks.’
      • ‘I remembered the ring of the woodman's axe in the forests at home, and wished for a few long-sided Green Mountain boys.’
      • ‘The piercing ring seemed to get louder, like the ticking of a bomb about to explode.’
      • ‘A penetrating ring vibrated the air, alerting the Rukklenn in the city below of the danger.’
      • ‘The dull ring of blade on blade echoed in the bare hall.’
      • ‘In the usual hustle and bustle of the special ed classroom, a shrill ring pierced the noise.’
      • ‘Gary was out of sight, but the ring of a gunshot was not.’
      • ‘This week it was High A, the vibrating shrilly ring that was sudden and shocking.’
      • ‘I heard the metallic ring of a horse's shoes striking the temple's stone courtyard.’
      • ‘Hearing the dead bolt slide back, and the metallic ring of chains as it hit the ground gave Michelle a sense of foreboding.’
      • ‘All she did was raise her blade to meet his, sending a loud ring through the room.’
      • ‘The ring of steel against steel could be heard a mile away.’
      • ‘For a long time, I couldn't hear anything but the ring of a slot machine behind me.’
      • ‘There was a fizzle, and then a pop, and finally a clattering ring.’
      • ‘Raiana quickly looked at her father, dropping her fork on her plate with a loud metallic ring as it hit the plate.’
    4. 1.4 A set of bells, especially church bells.
      • ‘Ring of bells" (or "peal of bells") is a term most often applied to a set of bells hung in the English style, typically for change ringing.’
  • 2in singular A particular quality conveyed by something heard or expressed.

    ‘the song had a curious ring of nostalgia to it’
    • ‘Like any good Wilde fans, they know that a pose can be genuine and a fantasy can have the ring of truth.’
    • ‘All that Walker said had the sharp ring of truth to it.’
    • ‘He had seen, on the previous day, no trace of jealousy or resentment in his betrothed: he could still hear the candid ring of the girl's praise of Mrs. Vervain.’
    • ‘Mind you, I don't think MC Wayne Rooney has a particularly credible ring to it.’
    • ‘Rumors carried on the wind; the most prevalent, that the twine were one, carried a disturbing ring of possibility.’
    • ‘It's not the most predictable ending, and it's certainly a frustrating one, but it has far too much of the ring of truth about it.’
    • ‘The album kicks off with the single, which is a wise choice, given that it sets things in motion with a welcome ring of familiarity.’
    • ‘We see his fascination with fantasy and story-telling, lies which have the ring of truth; in short, the essence of theatre.’
    • ‘During the preview screening I attended, there was some laughter, but it all had a hollow, forced ring to it.’
    • ‘Your reasoning bears the ring of truth, yet I hear something other than your words.’
    • ‘Certainly, the one active form of politics that Cooper champions has a distinctly pre-modern ring to it.’
    • ‘But Mezrich's book has the ring of truth about it, not least because it stops short of incredible claims and leaves some loose ends untied.’
    • ‘What is revealed has a ring of truth to it (otherwise it wouldn't be convincing or enjoyable) but that doesn't mean it is true.’
    • ‘She heard the ring of sincerity in King Halion's voice and it made her more frightened than before.’
    • ‘The title is a joke, but it has a ring of truth about it.’
    • ‘I must say, it was the sharp ring of truth which angered me so.’
    • ‘The alleged mission to Spain is treated both as fact and failure, like the Athenian one which Luke presents with such a ring of glorious authenticity.’
    • ‘Though the plot has the unmistakable ring of familiarity, strong acting and directing carry the film through occasional missteps.’
    • ‘We follow the fortunes of the Maclean family through Norman's eyes and Redford's voice and the story has a genuine ring of truth to it.’


  • ring a bell

    • informal Sound vaguely familiar.

      ‘the name rings a bell’
      • ‘That girl's name rang a bell, but she couldn't remember where from.’
      • ‘If Blackwell's name doesn't ring a bell with you, that's understandable.’
      • ‘If the name rings a bell, it is because he might have helped you buy a book, film or album.’
      • ‘The name rang a bell, though she couldn't quite place it.’
      • ‘One of the country's legendary tenor saxophone players, his name might not ring a bell for those who are not in tune with Jazz in India, but he deserves to be remembered.’
      • ‘If that name doesn't ring a bell, you're not alone.’
      • ‘If these names ring a bell and you can supply further information please contact us.’
      • ‘While her name might not ring a bell in the minds of most people, the festival will screen a ‘snippet’ from her body of work titled ‘Harlequin’.’
      • ‘The name rings a bell, but I can't put my finger on why.’
      • ‘While her name might not ring a bell, her songs definitely do.’
  • ring the changes

    • Vary the ways of expressing or doing something.

      • ‘I mean, I love horses, and riding horses and caring for horses has been a major part of my life, but maybe it's time to ring the changes.’
      • ‘Just as we thought they couldn't mess around with our phone numbers any more, they're ringing the changes again.’
      • ‘Steve Bruce could be tempted to ring the changes in his Birmingham side tomorrow after admitting that two games in less than four days might be too much for his hard-working players.’
      • ‘Inevitably, the transformation of Ireland and the EU is ringing the changes of a society that is refusing to stand still.’
      • ‘Or to ring the changes, serve topped with a fried egg or slices of blue cheese, and melt under a grill.’
      • ‘Police in Sheffield are ringing the changes in a bid to crack mobile phone crime in the light of an alarming rise in bogus complaints.’
      • ‘An estate agency is ringing the changes by offering a round-the-clock way for potential buyers to get instant details of properties on the market.’
      • ‘A South Lakeland telecoms training company is ringing the changes by leaving its base for nearly half a century and moving to new premises.’
      • ‘But while the traditional white uniforms still feature, and combatants still salute each other before a match, technology is ringing the changes.’
      • ‘New manager Phil Wilson has been ringing the changes since taking over the reins and has virtually a whole new squad to sort out.’
  • ring down (or up) the curtain

    • 1Cause a theatre curtain to be lowered (or raised)

      ‘they'll have to ring down the curtain’
      • ‘They rang down the curtain for the last time Sunday.’
      1. 1.1Mark the end (or the beginning) of an enterprise or event.
        ‘the sendoff rings down the curtain on a major chapter in television history’
        • ‘Sumter rang down the curtain on the aristocratic republic the founders had created.’
        • ‘And as criticism of the system mounts by the day across the football world, it may well be that this season's opening will prove the last before FIFA ring down the curtain.’
        • ‘We watch for a time, until we're numb, or bored, or angry at the repetitive misery - and then, in the back of the head, cue those violins, the sunset mood, the irrational affirmation that allows us to ring down the curtain.’
        • ‘After Mortimer's last collection - ‘Rumpole Rests His Case’ - it seemed as if the author finally had decided to ring down the curtain on Rumpole, much the way McKern did in the 1990s.’
        • ‘Can he, will he, reshape the Supreme Court and ring down the curtain on the revolution it has been imposing upon this country, illegitimately, for 50 years?’
        • ‘It is almost as if that sour 1968 election rang down the curtain on career politicians.’
        • ‘He submitted his resignation ringing down the curtain on a week-long drama which had paralysed the functioning of Parliament.’
        • ‘Border ring down the curtain on their home fixtures today when they play Western Province in a Standard Bank limited-overs day-night match at Buffalo Park.’
  • ring in one's ears (or head)

    • Linger in the memory.

      ‘he left Washington with the president's praises ringing in his ears’
      • ‘But many Chinese parents feel betrayed when their children leave home, when an ancient poem ‘A good son should not go too far when his parents are alive’ still rings in their ears.’
      • ‘Lord Cecil's admonishment still rang in her ears and the memory of the pressure of his fingers on her arm had yet to fade hours after the occurrence.’
      • ‘I grew up in a town covered in smog, memories of the legendary Mannion and Hardwick ringing in our ears and the prospect of the club never doing owt.’
      • ‘Their conversation rings in my ears and I mentally block it all out, straining the muscles around my head, looking for focus.’
      • ‘And it's quite the job to get that damn ‘Lola’ from ringing in your head.’
  • ring off the hook

    • (of a telephone) be constantly ringing due to a large number of incoming calls.

      ‘once the word was out that we had tickets, the phone was ringing off the hook’
      • ‘Well, you know, as soon as I didn't know the answer, the phone in my mom's house behind me started ringing off the hook.’
      • ‘Not to mention, my phone has been ringing off the hook with people asking if they can come visit me, and have an autograph!’
      • ‘The stupid phone was constantly ringing off the hook and he was tired of it.’
      • ‘Friday happens, your phone is ringing off the hook.’
      • ‘When I was a guest on a national NPR show, the phone rang off the hook for an hour and the station got more than 100 e-mails about motherhood and family issues.’
      • ‘Additionally, it prevents the camp office from being disrupted because of phones ringing off the hook and from having to call each family contact individually.’
      • ‘My phone rings off the hook with teams wanting the opportunity to participate in a meet with such high quality athletes.’
      • ‘I can't say the phone's ringing off the hook about tree issues on private property.’
      • ‘The phone rings off the hook but Chief does not flinch.’
      • ‘The phone is ringing off the hook with reservations for Shag paintings.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • ring someone/something in (or out)

    • Usher someone or something in (or out) by ringing a bell.

      ‘the bells were beginning to ring out the old year’
      • ‘The seventies were rung in with platforms, the Roaring twenties had the round-toed bar shoes.’
      • ‘The local establishment also had a capacity crowd on New Year's Eve, as the new Millennium was rung in by family and friends.’
      herald, signal, announce, proclaim, usher in, introduce, launch, celebrate, mark, signify, indicate, give notice of
      View synonyms
  • ring off

    • End a telephone call by replacing the receiver.

      ‘before I ring off can I have a quick word with Colin?’
      • ‘Eventually it rings… and rings off leaving me with a dead phone.’
      • ‘She rang off, leaving me staring at the telephone, mouth open in disbelief.’
      • ‘Lines had to be shared with people dialling up, ringing off and basically stacking like planes outside Heathrow airport.’
      • ‘‘Trouble?’ said James when Astor rang off having received details of Wendy's destination.’
      • ‘‘Point well taken, but wait until the next makeover,’ Ms. Saxena says ringing off.’
      • ‘He has perfected the skill of calling just after the alarm has gone off but before I've fully woken up so I never catch it before the machine picks it up, which means I end up running into the lounge before he rings off.’
      • ‘I tried to explain my doubtless feeble joke, but my critic was having none of it, delivering her rebuke and, having had her stern say, ringing off.’
      • ‘There is a chance that his misstep, and your ringing off, chastened him.’
      • ‘So, I ask, when she finally rings off, does she have a fellow feeling with Campbell?’
      • ‘There's one last thing Alexander's friends tell you before ringing off.’
      • ‘But - oh, sweet relief - you've somehow managed to grab the receiver before the bearer of important news rings off.’
      • ‘When he rings off with a cackle, I realise I miss him.’
      • ‘‘Sounds fabulous,’ she fluttered, before ringing off.’
      • ‘‘We breathe again, and I'm saying this from a dark corner of my cell,’ Desai said, before hastily ringing off.’
      • ‘It later turned out that he had been fooled at first, but after ringing off had decided to check; he rang the GM's normal number, and was not entirely surprised to receive a prompt answer from the gutted mansion.’
      • ‘Just before she rings off, she emphasises her view that Faithless are around for the long haul - still something of a rarity in the ever-mutating dance world.’
      • ‘We made it about halfway through Erin's computerized message before ringing off.’
      • ‘A journalist who gets so much as a whiff of this treatment should ring off immediately, and then conspicuously omit to cover the flack's employer until, after a few days or weeks, he inevitably rings back ready to crawl.’
      • ‘Yes, Sheree finally said, before ringing off.’
      • ‘Before ringing off, she again confirmed the order and the address, all very comforting.’
  • ring something up

    • Record an amount on a cash register.

      ‘he took the money for the drinks and rang it up’
      • ‘I finished up the sandwiches and started ringing them up on the cash register, but they were too busy ogling the girls and their mini skirts to care.’
      • ‘She half-considered looking it up and ringing it up on the cash register when she went home, which was hopefully near.’
      • ‘The woman went in the back and came out and rang the shoes up.’
      • ‘While the sales lady took 45 minutes to ring it up, I drooled over the jewelry and pointed out items for the kid to tell her father to get for me.’
      • ‘He'd wrap up your purchase in brown paper and string, ringing it up on one of those ancient cash registers where the numbers popped up and actually went ka-ching!’
      • ‘They're also in the express checkout and after all items have been rung up, will suddenly say: ‘Wait, I forgot the milk!’’
      • ‘The cashier put the brown shoes into a box and rang them up on the cash register.’
      • ‘Georgia rang it up and then Beth and Edie headed home.’
      • ‘The clerk rang it up and I took out my wallet to pay him.’
      • ‘I dug out a credit card and stood, wordless, as my sale was rung up.’
      • ‘She marches up to the cash register and lets the employee who was watching me ring it up.’
      • ‘David gave me his order, and I quickly rang it up.’
      • ‘Cory handed the guy her purple shirt and he rang it up.’
      • ‘She orders one anyway and he rings it up on a cash register that has a little Canadian flag on it.’
      • ‘I looked at the cover of it, called Oh My Vampires, as I rang it up.’
      • ‘I walked right over to the counter and told them that I wanted that specific doughnut and the guy rang it up for me.’
      • ‘At length, the clerk returned, fished under the counter for a collection of small paper envelopes, and rang them up.’
      • ‘The man scooped their ice creams and then rang them up.’
      • ‘Ask salespeople if they will hold your selections until the first day of the sales-tax holiday so they can be rung up without tax.’
      • ‘It's the game where I buy groceries from her, and she rings them up.’


Old English hringan, of Germanic origin, perhaps imitative.