gag

verb
\ˈgag \
gagged; gagging

Definition of gag 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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

1a : 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

gag

noun

Definition of gag (Entry 2 of 2)

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 : prank, trick

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from gag

Verb

gagger noun

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Jonathan Hatami told jurors that the defendant, 37, had enjoyed tormenting the boy, forcing Gabriel to eat his own vomit and sleep in a cabinet with a sock gagging his mouth. Marisa Gerber, latimes.com, "'Horrendous, inhumane and nothing short of evil': Judge sentences mother to life in prison and her boyfriend to death in Gabriel Fernandez murder case," 7 June 2018 Video posted in January 2017 shows the four defendants — all African-American — cutting the white victim’s scalp with a knife, punching and kicking him and laughing as he was bound and gagged in an apartment on Chicago’s West Side. Megan Crepeau, chicagotribune.com, "Ringleader given 8 years in prison for beating mentally disabled teen in attack livestreamed on Facebook," 5 July 2018 Cooper and Hill taunted the teen with knives and sliced up his sweatshirt, hair and scalp while the teen was tied up and gagged, Lanier said. Megan Crepeau, chicagotribune.com, "Last of 4 defendants pleads guilty to beating teen with disability in livestreamed Facebook attack," 12 July 2018 The 75-year-old Smith was found bound, gagged and suffocated to death on her bed. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "Jury acquits Baltimore man in 1981 cold case killing of 75-year-old woman who was sexually assaulted," 20 June 2018 Prosecutors said he was repeatedly beaten, shot with a BB gun, forced to eat cat feces and slept while gagged and bound inside a small cabinet. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "California man gets death sentence in torture-killing of 8-year-old boy," 7 June 2018 At the end of a two-month investigation, the Sheriff’s Department and county Medical Examiner’s Office concluded that Zahau had bound, gagged and hanged herself in a suicide. Pauline Repard, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Shacknai lawyer blasts verdict in Rebecca Zahau wrongful death trial," 5 Apr. 2018 Sure enough, Trinity was caught unawares, and audiences everywhere were gagged. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "10 of the Best Reads in 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Herstory," 2 July 2018 Taheerah Ahmad, 39, attacked the girl Monday and also bound and gagged two younger daughters who managed to escape and were found unharmed, according to a police. Washington Post, "Aunt: Mom charged with stabbing daughter lost job, ‘snapped’," 18 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And this haphazard collection of setups, stunts and gags has that same scattershot, digressive energy. Ann Hornaday, kansascity, "A game cast makes good-natured ‘Tag’ a fun time," 14 June 2018 There are a handful of awkward Trump jokes and typical gentrification gags before the show eases into gear, skewering the reality of the workplace for women while satirizing the pop-culture fantasy of the workplace for women. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Bleak Truths of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," 31 May 2018 After Willis’ arrest, a court official told PEOPLE that investigators recovered bondage equipment from his van, including handcuffs, rope, chain, a bail gag and leather restraints. Steve Helling, PEOPLE.com, "Mich. Man Kidnapped Young Mom From Her Gas Station Job and Murdered Her in 'Torture Sanctuary'," 17 May 2018 In previous attacks, the Golden State Killer tore up towels and used them as blindfolds, gags and restraints. Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post, "The final hours of the Golden State Killer’s final victim," 27 Apr. 2018 This is about being a place where everyone should agree that Coronado Bridge suicides aren’t gags or props. Bryce Miller, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres need to show radio partner the door after latest, most insensitive swipe," 27 Mar. 2018 But here’s the gag: the engagement had apparently been hiding in plain sight. Hanna Lustig, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson's Relationship: A Timeline," 25 June 2018 Less than a year after launching the accounts as a loving gag, Takahashi has built what might amount to the most complete contemporary picture of day-to-day American behavior, a kind of crowdsourced Kinsey report on municipal perversity. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "What Petty Nextdoor Posts Reveal About America," 20 June 2018 Ideal Home suffers from a few missteps, including a running gag about Taco Bell that feels more like blatant product placement than narrative necessity. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Ideal Home': Film Review," 27 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gag.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of gag

Verb

1509, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gag

Verb

Middle English gaggen "to strangle," of imitative origin

Noun

derivative of gag entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gag

Statistics for gag

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gag

The first known use of gag was in 1509

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gag

gag

verb

English Language Learners Definition of gag

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to put something (such as a piece of cloth) into or over a person's mouth in order to prevent that person from speaking, calling for help, etc.

: to prevent (someone) from speaking freely or expressing opinions

: to vomit or feel as if you are about to vomit : to feel as if what is in your stomach is going to come up into your mouth

gag

noun

English Language Learners Definition of gag (Entry 2 of 2)

: something said or done to make people laugh

: something done as a playful trick

: something (such as a piece of cloth) that is put into or over someone's mouth in order to prevent speech

gag

verb
\ˈgag \
gagged; gagging

Kids Definition of gag

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to stop from speaking or crying out by or as if by covering or blocking the mouth

2 : to vomit or feel like vomiting The horrible smell almost made me gag.

3 : choke sense 2 He gagged on his hot dog.

gag

noun

Kids Definition of gag (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something covering or blocking the mouth especially to prevent speaking or crying out

2 : something said or done to make other people laugh

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on gag

What made you want to look up gag? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to reject or criticize sharply

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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