\ 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



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

Other Words from gag


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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In a move befitting a goddamn movie star, Pugh will chopper fly in to Venice just in time to gag everyone on the red carpet. Lester Fabian Brathwaite,, 4 Sep. 2022 NDAs have also been used in more sinister circumstances to gag victims of harassment and abuse from speaking out about their experiences. K.j. Yossman, Variety, 11 July 2022 In addition to a tasty dinner and homemade birthday cake, there were presents: wine, gag wine glass and a birthday card with a gift card enclosed. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, 17 May 2022 Bembenek was arrested, and a hairbrush belonging to her had hair consistent with hairs found in the bandana used to gag Christine. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, 15 May 2022 Then, with a small-headed, soft, dry toothbrush, brush the wire meshing gently to remove the visible debris, and try not to gag at what falls out. Terry Baddoo, USA TODAY, 2 May 2022 In the moments before tipping off against Portland on Sunday, the Spurs watched the Los Angeles Lakers gag up another game down the stretch against Denver. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, 3 Apr. 2022 Russian lawmakers are expected to consider legislation Friday that could gag independent media coverage of the conflict in Ukraine and slap stiff penalties on foreigners, further increasing tensions between Moscow and the West. Ann M. Simmons, WSJ, 4 Mar. 2022 There’s too much on the line for the Rams to gag at home. Los Angeles Times, 4 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While Dad may tend to like cheaper, gag gifts, Mom may want something more from the heart. Annie O’sullivan, Good Housekeeping, 9 Sep. 2022 After all, these rich and beautiful people can't possibly see past Dee's uncontrollable urge to panic-gag and Charlie's uncontrollable desire to shove grotesque amounts of cheese in his mouth, right? Dennis Perkins,, 3 Sep. 2022 It’s all because of the Steve Rogers gag in She-Hulk. Chris Smith, BGR, 20 Aug. 2022 McDowell’s itself, a restaurant operated by small-business owner Cleo McDowell, is a tongue-in-cheek gag throughout the film. Talal Ansari, WSJ, 28 Aug. 2022 And the sheer number of childbirth scenes would be a running gag if the show didn't render them, with vivid detail, as a genuine medical horror. Darren Franich,, 19 Aug. 2022 And the sheer number of childbirth scenes would be a running gag if the show didn’t render them, with vivid detail, as a genuine medical horror. James Hibberd, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Aug. 2022 Has a specific food ever triggered your gag reflex? Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, 19 June 2022 Chris Evans found the whole Steve Rogers She-Hulk gag hilarious. Chris Smith, BGR, 20 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of gag


1509, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gag


Middle English gaggen "to strangle," of imitative origin


derivative of gag entry 1

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Last Updated

7 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gag.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for gag


\ 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.



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

More from Merriam-Webster on gag

Nglish: Translation of gag for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gag for Arabic Speakers


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