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

On April 24, the Republic filed a motion arguing that the reporters had been wrongly barred or gagged, and asking to see transcripts of the previous hearings. John D'anna, Arizona Republic, "A judge ruled The Republic had violated a court order in a controversial DCS case. Now, he has reversed that ruling," 12 Sep. 2019 Thirty Years Ago Members of a Paulette Place family were terrorized during a September 1989 crime when two masked robbers broke into their home, gagged and bound them, then made off with $18,000 in jewelry pieces. Carol Cormaci, La Cañada Valley Sun, "La Cañada History: Hikers see devastation up close as Station fire moves on," 9 Sep. 2019 He too was bound, gagged and held against his will. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Man in Denver police crime alert is a suspect in two bank robberies, close to $1 million stolen," 6 Sep. 2019 Nkrumah’s detractors accuse him of running down Ghana’s economic gains at independence, gagging the press and being an authoritarian. Akwasi Kwarteng Amoako-gyampah, Quartz Africa, "The “tragic error” that led to Kwame Nkrumah becoming one of Africa’s great independence leaders," 7 Aug. 2019 His detractors accuse him of progressively running down Ghana’s economic gains at independence, gagging the press, curtailing the freedom of speech and being an authoritarian. Akwasi Kwarteng Amoako-gyampah, Quartz Africa, "The “tragic error” that led to Kwame Nkrumah becoming one of Africa’s great independence leaders," 7 Aug. 2019 Running down the middle of some street in Lynn, crying, laughing, choking, gagging. Ted Gartland, BostonGlobe.com, "Photographer rolls through the decades with the Stones," 3 July 2019 And don’t forget about the ominous ending: that bound and gagged bloody guy out wandering in the desert? Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "Hulu's Veronica Mars revival binge recap for every episode," 19 July 2019 The notion of a Zappa presidency might seem unbelievable enough to make conservatives want to gag — with or without as spoon. San Diego Union-Tribune, "That time Frank Zappa considered running for president with H. Ross Perot as his veep," 9 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Mr Booker, who has shed some of his excessive earnestness, and is more appealing for it, also delivered the best gag of the evening. Lexington | Washington, The Economist, "The third Democratic primary debate thins the field," 13 Sep. 2019 That makes the gags predictable, but the predictability is the point. Peter Spiliakos, National Review, "The Simpsons and the Cowardice of Tribal Comedy," 28 Aug. 2019 Max Siedentopf The gag occurred to Siedentopf while renewing his own passport. Anne Quito, Quartzy, "An artist is turning boring passport photos into bizarre portraits," 27 Aug. 2019 Schulz kept the Lucy and the football gag going from 1951 to 1999. The Washington Post, The Denver Post, "Republican poll shows overwhelming support for stricter gun control among suburban women," 19 Aug. 2019 And the same gag landed Florida's Carol Schroeder with 135 tickets tallying over $8,000 in 2012. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "A Brief History of Vanity License Plates Gone Wrong," 18 Aug. 2019 The doleful arias, bickering duets and mocking trios are delivered at a relatively brisk tempo — a wise strategy for a work in which the small talk is circular, the gags repetitive and the grievances rehashed ad nauseam. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "A revelatory Denzel Washington in 'The Iceman Cometh'," 10 May 2018 This will continue to function effectively as a gag rule. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "'Devastating for women': How Planned Parenthood funding battle could affect Indiana," 22 Aug. 2019 Even though Planned Parenthood has pulled out of Title X, the fight against the gag rule continues. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Planned Parenthood's Loss of Title X Funding Will Affect 1.5 Million Low-Income Women," 21 Aug. 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

19 Sep 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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