gag

verb
\ ˈgag How to pronounce gag (audio) \
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

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Other Words from gag

Verb

gagger noun

Synonyms for gag

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The increase in the partial pressure of the carbon dioxide was temporarily difficult to tolerate, leading to gagging and choking, but the submarine flooded quickly and the pressure was equalized. Rachel Lance, Wired, "How to Escape From a Sunken Submarine," 7 Apr. 2020 Intubated patients often cough and gag during the high-risk procedure, propelling spit and other bodily fluids onto the faces of medical staffers. Chauncey Alcorn, CNN, "3D printer companies step in to fill hospitals' desperate need for face shields," 6 Apr. 2020 The mosque’s front steps, metal gate and sidewalk outside were stained with the blue liquid while the people caught in the plume were left gagging, coughing and trying to rinse the solution from their eyes, the video shows. Time, "Hong Kong Leader and Police Chief Apologize to Muslim Community for Spraying Mosque With Water Cannon," 21 Oct. 2019 In a brief hearing, the judge declined to gag Weinstein's attorneys from speaking to the media — in addition to denying the motion to sequester jurors. Author: Andrew Dalton, Tom Hays, Michael R. Sisak, Anchorage Daily News, "Harvey Weinstein indicted on new sex crimes charges in California on day his New York trial began," 6 Jan. 2020 In 2008, at age 18, Marie reported that she had been raped by a man who broke into her apartment, held her at knifepoint, and bound and gagged her. Tierney Mcafee, Country Living, "The Harrowing True Story Behind Netflix’s 'Unbelievable'," 5 Jan. 2020 An 85-year-old Detroit man was found bound, gagged, dead and stuffed in a metal cabinet this week. Darcie Moran, Detroit Free Press, "Arrest made after body of Detroit man, 85, found stuffed in metal cabinet," 23 Jan. 2020 The two individuals were gagged and tied inside a white pickup truck, according to the press release from the state agency. Rafael Carranza, azcentral, "Ambush in Mexico: What we know about the deaths, the LeBaron family, the investigation and Trump," 5 Nov. 2019 Others drew a direct line between ‘‘sealed mouths’’ and their current predicament — ‘‘sealed cities’’ under lockdown — and warned that historically, disasters have struck China when speech has been gagged. Gerry Shih, BostonGlobe.com, "In China, digital uprising continues over doctor’s death from coronavirus," 7 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Visually, however, the movie pops with its animation, and for old-school fans, there are so many Easter eggs and gags from the past (Scoob’s tippy-toes bowling, for example) that look good in a modern reinvention. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Review: 'Scoob!' falls short as an exciting reintroduction to Mystery Inc. and its iconic talking dog," 15 May 2020 Visually, however, the movie pops with its animation, and for old-school fans, there are so many Easter eggs and gags from the past (Scoob’s tippy-toes bowling, for example) that look good in a modern reinvention. Brian Truitt, Detroit Free Press, "Animated ‘Scooby-Doo’ reboot is hounded by complications," 14 May 2020 Yet the Reaper also increasingly became a stock gag character, as in many New Yorker cartoons — a comfortable way for readers to literally laugh in the face of Death. Washington Post, "The Grim Reaper shows up often in pandemic cartoons — whether to provoke or provide dark humor," 6 May 2020 To skeptics, the tweet read like an April Fool's gag. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Oil up, markets down as coronavirus impact continues to roil the global economy," 3 Apr. 2020 These results seem to point to a society-wide gag rule that discourages the discussion of financial details. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, "Why So Many Americans Don’t Talk About Money," 2 Mar. 2020 Without humans providing realtime feedback, the deliberately wince-inducing gags fell flat, and Atkinson’s physical comedy seemed bizarre. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, "The Challenge of Comedy Without an Audience," 8 Apr. 2020 But beneath the gag, there’s an awareness that Shakespeare’s life must have been miserable in many ways. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Shakespeare: The Sitcom," 2 Apr. 2020 Americans could still joke about the novel coronavirus outbreak last week, and some of the gags were pretty good. oregonlive, "Coronavirus around the world: ‘We made one big mistake,’ laments Twitter user in locked-down Italy; ‘Bug Boat’ docks in California," 10 Mar. 2020

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.

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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

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Statistics for gag

Last Updated

17 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gag.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gag. Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for gag

gag

verb
How to pronounce gag (audio)

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
chiefly US : 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 How to pronounce gag (audio) \
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on gag

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gag

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gag

Spanish Central: Translation of gag

Nglish: Translation of gag for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gag for Arabic Speakers

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