Word of the Day: Rung


rung / rŭng


1. one of the rods on a ladder that forms a step

The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man’s foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.

Thomas Huxley, 1825 – 1895

2. a crosspiece between the legs of a chair, often used to strengthen the chair

By this unprovoked and unjustifiable act, our venerable friend had suffered a fracture of one of its rungs.

From “Grandfather’s Chair” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1804 – 1864

3. spokes on a wheel or ship’s wheel

I also nestled small flowerpots between the wheel’s rungs and planted them with a herb garden, of basil, chives, mint, rosemary, thyme and parsley.

Barb Christensen, “Handy ideas for little things”, ‘Northland Press’, August 14, 1969

4. a level; a step in rank or position

Do not despise the bottom rungs in the ascent to greatness.

Publilius Syrus, 85 BC – 43


1. past participle of the verb “ring”

When a nation’s young men are conservative, its funeral bell is already rung.

Henry Ward Beecher. 1813 – 1887