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
4 : prank, trick

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Other Words from gag

Verb

gagger noun

Synonyms for gag

Synonyms: Verb

barf, heave, hurl, puke, retch, spew, spit up, throw up, upchuck, vomit

Synonyms: Noun

boff (or boffo), boffola, crack, drollery, funny, giggle [chiefly British], jape, jest, joke, josh, laugh, nifty, one-liner, pleasantry, quip, rib, sally, waggery, wisecrack, witticism, yuk (or yuck) [slang]

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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

So refused to do so and was gagged, according to the report. Aritz Parra, The Seattle Times, "Spain: FBI offered data stolen in North Korean Embassy raid," 27 Mar. 2019 The sheriff kept most details of the pre-attack prowlings and the nature of the rapes themselves secret _ pulling news editors and station managers into a private meeting to gag media coverage. Tribune News Service, oregonlive.com, "The Man in the Window: The attacker lingered in houses as he raped, tortured women (Part Three)," 23 June 2019 The Astros have now suffered six straight, running the gamut in ways to gag winnable games. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros fall to Yankees for 6th straight loss," 21 June 2019 Because of that, the actors had to kiss in front of a green screen—which is when Harington decided to joke around by gagging and groaning after making out with Clarke. Glamour, "Watch Kit Harington Gag After Kissing Emilia Clarke on the Game of Thrones Set," 16 Apr. 2019 Totally normal fetishes include everything from age play to gagging and golden showers. Gigi Engle, Glamour, "Yes, Your Fetish Is Totally Normal," 14 Mar. 2019 Michelle Obama just won a Grammy for Best Wig Snatching after making a surprise appearance at tonight's award ceremony and leaving all audiences gagging for air. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Michelle Obama Just Showed Up to the Grammys and We're So Emotional," 11 Feb. 2019 The images beaming out of the U.S.-Mexico border — migrants storming barricades, children gagging on tear gas — have intensified the debate regarding the Trump administration’s bare-knuckled approach to immigration. Kyle Swenson, The Seattle Times, "Ammon Bundy breaks with Trump on anti-migrant rhetoric: ‘It’s all fear-based’," 28 Nov. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Cy won’t talk about it, except to favor us with gag answers to our questions. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, "Bridge: July 7, 2019," 7 July 2019 There’s a fun running gag built around Jack’s frequent Google searches, which reveal that the Beatles aren’t the only global phenomenon that’s been scrubbed from the history books. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: ‘Yesterday’ imagines a world without the Beatles — and doesn’t make you want to visit," 27 June 2019 There’s a fun running gag built around Jack’s frequent Google searches, which reveal that the Beatles aren’t the only global phenomenon that’s been scrubbed from the history books. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Review: 'Yesterday' imagines a world without the Beatles — and doesn't make you want to visit," 26 June 2019 From them comes an earnestness within every joke and running gag on Los Espookys. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "The Unique, Comic Alchemy of Los Espookys," 21 June 2019 He's made jokes in standup routines about it and even fake-proposed to singer Maggie Rogers as part of an SNL promo gag. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Ariana Grande's First Performance of 'Thank U, Next' Is Clearly a Nod to Pete Davidson," 7 Nov. 2018 Joel Grey, on the other hand, adapts an ah-do-declare drawl as the Alabamian former attorney general Jeff Sessions, the put-upon Mr. Cellophane of this story, whose resignation letter becomes a drawn-from-life running gag. James Poniewozik, New York Times, "Review: ‘The Investigation’ Makes the Mueller Report a Dark-Comic Indictment," 25 June 2019 But a popular recurring gag is based on TV commercials done by a local mattress-store owner, whose gangly dance moves are ably parodied by Cameron Morrison. Donna Freedman, Anchorage Daily News, "Farewell to the 'Follies’: Mr. Whitekeys says his shows are ending — for good, this time," 12 June 2019 And the gag rule truly would have effected the country’s most vulnerable. Caroline Rothstein, Marie Claire, "How Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum Is Quietly Fighting Trump—and Beating Him," 24 May 2019

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

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gag

The first known use of gag was in 1509

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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
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gag

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gag

Spanish Central: Translation of gag

Nglish: Translation of gag for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gag for Arabic Speakers

Comments on gag

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