gag

1 of 2

verb

gagged; gagging

transitive verb

1
a
: to restrict use of the mouth of by inserting something into it to prevent speech or outcry
b
: to prevent from exercising freedom of speech or expression
trying to gag the press
legally gagged from discussing the case
c
: to pry or hold open with a gag
2
: to provide or write quips or pranks for
gag a show
3
: to choke or cause to retch

intransitive verb

1
a
: choke
also : to suffer a throat spasm that makes swallowing or breathing difficult
b
: retch
2
: to be unable to endure something : balk
The boys gagged at all the kissing and goo-goo eyes.
3
: to make quips
gagger noun

gag

2 of 2

noun

1
: something thrust into the mouth to keep it open or to prevent speech or outcry
2
: an official check or restraint on debate or free speech
a gag rule
3
: a laugh-provoking remark or act
4

Examples of gag in a Sentence

Verb The government is trying to gag the press. the terrible smell of rotting fish made me gag Noun The movie relies on simpleminded gags for laughs. They hid his clothes as a gag. They tied up the hostages and put gags in their mouths. The government is trying to put a gag on the press.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Omar Assad was held gagged and with his hands tied for a period before being freed and left unresponsive by soldiers from the unit, according to an IDF investigation. CNN, 13 July 2024 Take your baby off the breast if your little one begins to choke or gag. Donna Murray, Rn, Parents, 8 July 2024
Noun
The plucky, too-smart kiddo going up a big-bad-spy-man thing that served as the central gag of the first film simply doesn’t work anymore, and thus Segal and co-writers Erich and Jon Hoeber have done their best to preserve the dynamic against the march of time. Kate Erbland, IndieWire, 17 July 2024 Like most of the show’s humor, the gag’s tone and timing are impeccable. Graham Hillard, Washington Examiner - Political News and Conservative Analysis About Congress, the President, and the Federal Government, 12 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for gag 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gag.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English gaggen "to strangle," of imitative origin

Noun

derivative of gag entry 1

First Known Use

Verb

1509, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of gag was in 1509

Dictionary Entries Near gag

Cite this Entry

“Gag.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gag. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

gag

1 of 2 verb
gagged; gagging
1
: to prevent from speaking or crying out by or as if by stopping up the mouth
2
a
: to vomit or cause to feel like vomiting
3
: to be unable to endure something : balk
4
: to tell jokes

gag

2 of 2 noun
1
a
: something thrust into the mouth especially to prevent speech or outcry
b
: a restraint on free speech
2
: something said or done to cause laughter
3
: prank

More from Merriam-Webster on gag

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!