views updated May 18 2018

ring1 / ring/ • n. 1. a 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. ∎  a circular band of any material: fried onion rings. ∎  Astron. a thin band or disk of rock and ice particles around a planet. ∎  a circular marking or pattern: black rings around her eyes. ∎ short for tree ring. ∎  [usu. as adj.] Archaeol. a circular prehistoric earthwork, typically consisting of a bank and ditch: a ring ditch.2. an enclosed space, typically surrounded by seating for spectators, in which a sport, performance, or show takes place: a circus ring. ∎  a roped enclosure for boxing or wrestling. ∎  (the ring) the profession, sport, or institution of boxing.3. a group of people or things arranged in a circle: he pointed to the ring of trees. ∎  (in a ring) arranged or grouped in a circle: everyone sat in a ring, holding hands. ∎  a group of people drawn together due to a shared interest or goal, esp. one involving illegal or unscrupulous activity: the police had been investigating the drug ring. ∎  Chem. another term for closed chain.4. a circular or spiral course: they were dancing energetically in a ring.5. Math. a set of elements with two binary operations, addition and multiplication, the second being distributive over the first and associative.• v. [tr.] 1. (often be ringed) surround (someone or something), esp. for protection or containment: the courthouse was ringed with police. ∎  form a line around the edge of (something circular): dark shadows ringed his eyes. ∎  draw a circle around (something), esp. to focus attention on it: an area of Tribeca had been ringed in red.2. put a circular band through the nose of (a bull, pig, or other farm animal) to lead or otherwise control it. PHRASES: run rings around someone inf. outclass or outwit someone very easily.throw one's hat in the ring see hat.DERIVATIVES: ringed adj. [in comb.] the five-ringed Olympic emblem. ring·less adj.ring2 • v. (past rang / rang/ ; past part. rung / ng/ ) 1. [intr.] make a clear resonant or vibrating sound: a shot rang out a bell rang loudly | [as n.] (ringing) the ringing of fire alarms. ∎  [tr.] cause (a bell or alarm) to make such a sound: he walked up to the door and rang the bell. ∎  (of a telephone) produce a series of resonant or vibrating sounds to signal an incoming call: the phone rang again as I replaced it. ∎  call for service or attention by sounding a bell: Ruth, will you ring for some tea? ∎  (of a person's ears) be filled with a continuous buzzing or humming sound, esp. as the aftereffect of a blow or loud noise: he yelled so loudly that my eardrums rang. ∎  (ring with/to) (of a place) resound or reverberate with (a sound or sounds): the room rang with laughter. ∎  (ring with) fig. be filled or permeated with (a particular quality): those whose names ring with ethnicity. ∎  [intr.] convey a specified impression or quality: the author's honesty rings true. ∎  [tr.] sound (the hour, a peal, etc.) on a bell or bells: a bell ringing the hour.2. [tr.] chiefly Brit. call by telephone: I rang her this morning Harriet rang Dorothy up next day | [intr.] I tried to ring, but the lines to Moscow were engaged. • n. an act of causing a bell to sound, or the resonant sound caused by this: there was a ring at the door. ∎  each of a series of resonant or vibrating sounds signaling an incoming telephone call. ∎  [in sing.] inf. a telephone call: I'd better give her a ring tomorrow. ∎  [in sing.] a loud clear sound or tone: the ring of sledgehammers on metal. ∎  [in sing.] a particular quality conveyed by something heard or expressed: the song had a curious ring of nostalgia to it. ∎  a set of bells, esp. church bells.PHRASES: ring a bell see bell1 .ring the changes see change.ring down (or up) the curtain cause a theater curtain to be lowered (or raised). ∎ fig. mark the end (or the beginning) of an enterprise or event: the sendoff rings down the curtain on a major chapter in television history.ring in one's ears (or head) linger in the memory: he left Washington with the president's praises ringing in his ears.ring in (or out) the new (or old) year commemorate the new year (or the end of the previous year) with boisterous celebration.ring the knell of see knell.ring off the hook (of a telephone) be constantly ringing due to a large number of incoming calls.PHRASAL VERBS: ring someone/something in (or out) usher someone or something in (or out) by or as if by ringing a bell: the bells were beginning to ring out the old year.ring something up record an amount on a cash register. ∎ fig. make, spend, or announce a particular amount in sales, profits, or losses.