Main definitions of gag in English

: gag1gag2

gag1

noun

  • 1A piece of cloth put in or over a person's mouth to prevent them from speaking.

    ‘they tied him up and put a gag in his mouth’
    • ‘A cloth gag was put over his mouth to stop him from speaking.’
    • ‘She tried to scream, but the gag prevented it once again.’
    • ‘To her immense satisfaction, the gag did nothing to prevent the volume of her yelling, only muffled and garbled it.’
    • ‘The strip of cloth holding the gag, once split, fell away from Ford's face.’
    • ‘I didn't really care, and stuffed a gag in her mouth using the nearest cloth I could find.’
    • ‘He threw a torch on the tent and Red tried to scream in fear but the gag prevented her.’
    • ‘She almost squirmed but the ropes wouldn't let her, and she tried to scream but the gag prevented her.’
    • ‘Up to 200 members of the Stop the War coalition, CND and other groups symbolically put gags over their mouths as part of the unauthorised protest, which the police had warned would now be illegal.’
    • ‘He was standing, shackled to the top of a door frame with a gag in his mouth at the time he died.’
    • ‘The city's municipal HQ was surrounded by a large group of people who had volunteered to have gags placed in their mouths while their hands were tied behind their backs.’
    • ‘Then, with knife in one hand still posing a threat he arranged her scarf, shifting the material so that it hid the gag around her mouth.’
    • ‘Jason put his gun on the bed next to her and began to unbind the ropes, but first he removed the old sock that had been stuffed into her mouth as a gag.’
    • ‘Cindy quickly freed the gag from Maria's mouth as Jordan removed her blindfold.’
    • ‘Her wrists were hooked to a D ring on the back of her collar, and for once she didn't have a gag filling her mouth.’
    • ‘She was naked, her arms tightly bound behind her, a gag filling her mouth, and a blindfold over her eyes.’
    • ‘For a final bad touch, they put a gag in her mouth.’
    • ‘I saw slowly that I was staring at an Elf, I struggled once more to get the gag from my mouth, when he gently removed it and silently offered me a taste of water.’
    • ‘‘Why didn't I get here sooner,’ she said as she gently started to untie the gag from his mouth.’
    • ‘She ripped the gag from his mouth and undid his hands.’
    • ‘Amy is tied down to a table with a gag in her mouth.’
    muzzle, tie, restraint
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A restriction on dissemination of information.
      ‘every contract contains a self-signed gag’
      • ‘Tim the Rev had picked up on the notion that the codification is intended to put a political gag on charities, and Peter said that the draft legislation had no such intent.’
      • ‘The government's official gag on further public discussion of the principal's death only adds to the impression that this is not an isolated case.’
      • ‘However, the latest gag prevents users from discussing any aspect of the program.’
  • 2A device for keeping the patient's mouth open during a dental or surgical operation.

    ‘He or she preps the neonate's face and mouth and also the mouth gag in a circular manner, proceeding from the incision line circumferentially outward.’

verbgags, gagging, gagged

  • 1with object Put a gag on (someone)

    ‘she was bound and gagged by robbers’
    • ‘Detectives were today hunting an armed gang who bound and gagged a couple before stealing a large amount of cash.’
    • ‘Three men from the crew lurched forward, bounding and gagging the man tightly.’
    • ‘A postmaster bound and gagged by two masked robbers during a dawn raid on his village store has told police he wants to quit his job.’
    • ‘But their vitriol genuinely surprised me, especially since the prospect of gagging us with lace and pulling our hair really seemed to turn them on.’
    • ‘They bound his hands and legs with clothing, gagged him, and took HK $500, a mobile phone, his ID card and three bank cards.’
    • ‘They bound and gagged the couple and put them in a room, before escaping with valuables worth around Rs 1 lakh.’
    • ‘They blindfolded and gagged her and tied her arms and legs.’
    • ‘He was gagged and beaten and the raiders then went upstairs where they tied up the second brother who was also badly beaten.’
    • ‘Howard broke into her home, bound and gagged her and repeatedly attacked her over a period of hours.’
    • ‘She was gagged and bound with a washing line before being dumped in a water-filled drainage ditch.’
    • ‘She said the two men broke into the house, blindfolded and gagged her before tying up her arms and legs.’
    • ‘They even worried about what kind of tape to gag him with so it wouldn't irritate his beard.’
    • ‘As she shouted he tried to gag her with the belt from her dressing gown.’
    • ‘Two walked away but the other entered and gagged the pensioner by pushing a handkerchief into his mouth then stole his wallet and cash before running away, taking the handkerchief with him.’
    • ‘A pair of robbers wielding a gun and a knife bound and gagged a Carshalton pensioner in his own home in a premeditated crime described as ‘completely horrific’ by police.’
    • ‘The man used tights and stockings to bind and gag his victims and it is believed the perverted attacker had a bizarre shoe fetish as in all but one of the cases the victims' shoes were stolen.’
    • ‘Personally I'd like to see him go the whole hog - bind him, gag him and chuck him into the Thames wearing a pair of concrete boots.’
    • ‘Yolanda passes out in the elevator, forcing Lana to drag her into the penthouse where she gags her and ties her to the bed.’
    • ‘Russian prosecutors are investigating allegations that hospital staff in Yekaterinburg, Russia, gagged babies because they did not want to hear them crying.’
    stop up, block, plug, clog, stifle, smother, muffle
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    1. 1.1Prevent (someone) from speaking freely or disseminating information.
      ‘the government is trying to gag its critics’
      • ‘This is just an attempt to gag me and stop me from doing my job on behalf of the ratepayers of Manukau City.’
      • ‘He said, you know, ultimately, I think there is something here and so I'm going to gag Michael with respect to the information that he has.’
      • ‘The London High Court made an order gagging the researcher from disclosing court testimony about his research into PIN number security.’
      • ‘Most of the nurses and doctors who have spoken out have been forced to remain anonymous, gagged by an official order from department heads not to speak to the media.’
      • ‘Remember this is an organisation that gags its critics, has hired a private detective to look into me, and has consistently misled its members.’
      • ‘Campaigners accuse the government of encouraging the practice while gagging its critics.’
      • ‘A court has gagged the Wandsworth Guardian to prevent it naming two boys accused of terrorising and vandalising their neighbourhood.’
      • ‘The mayor said he had no intentions of gagging any councillor or preventing them from expressing their own views.’
      • ‘The presidential ordinance gagging the press came two days before parliament was to meet.’
      • ‘He called for a moratorium on the new rules and a detailed explanation from the Law Society about what it was seeking to achieve by gagging its members.’
      • ‘As part of the NSL, those served with the document are gagged and prohibited from disclosing that they have even been served.’
      • ‘Jane has signed a confidentiality agreement, which gags her from talking about the night.’
      • ‘But a Chairman who gags his directors betrays a nervous and patently vulnerable company.’
      • ‘‘I don't think we are gagging anybody,’ said a spokesman.’
      • ‘Public service employees are also gagged by Oath from public comment on any government matter to which they have knowledge.’
      • ‘So we did a lot of outreach, I believe, the people that support reform such as myself, but we didn't want to gag the American people.’
      • ‘Even though Downing Street and the Treasury would try to gag him, he felt compelled to speak out about his governing passion.’
      • ‘He wouldn't go any further, saying that it would jeopardize the case and it could gag him.’
      • ‘This law has been thus named because its sole purpose is to gag ordinary citizens during an election.’
      • ‘He says the information is better public, but came to a settlement on Friday which effectively gags him from saying anything more.’
      silence, muzzle, mute, muffle, stifle, smother, strangle, subdue, suppress, repress
      View synonyms
  • 2no object Choke or retch.

    ‘he gagged on the wine’
    • ‘But there's somebody who either gagged on a spoon, or somebody was choking on a fork, or somebody stuck something too far in the back of their throat.’
    • ‘Anyway, I returned to my room, and gagged on the ferocious stench.’
    • ‘I'd gone outside to have a cigarette in the morning and gagged on my smoke.’
    • ‘Some of her classmates almost gagged on the smell.’
    • ‘She gagged on them for a few minutes and made gurgling noises into the phone as she lifted her face towards the ceiling in hopes of getting the pills down her throat easier.’
    • ‘I screamed with pain and gagged on air, being forced out of me.’
    • ‘When I broke the seal on my mask, I nearly gagged on the fuel fumes.’
    • ‘Her voice sounded rough and cracked when she spoke, as if she'd scraped her throat with sandpaper and gagged on broken glass.’
    • ‘One poor guy gagged on his retainer and his pal thumped him on the back.’
    • ‘She'd been right, he realized instantly, as he almost gagged on the first bite.’
    • ‘Her heart jumped up to her throat, and she nearly gagged on her granola bar.’
    • ‘Hastily I gulped down the rest of the bite of meat and gagged on it.’
    • ‘The uniform stifled Danny and he gagged on the stale stench.’
    • ‘I was actually pleasant sort of but then his companion came in to view and I nearly gagged on my own spit.’
    • ‘The first few breaths overwhelmed her and she gagged on the foul air.’
    • ‘She gagged on her bite of apple and threw the core over her shoulder at him.’
    • ‘Billy nearly gagged on his olive, but he knocked the drink back and motioned for another one.’
    • ‘He gagged on the sulfur, coughing and sputtering as the smoke stung his throat and lungs.’
    • ‘Frank took another sip of his coffee as Marco practically gagged on his as I said this.’
    • ‘He poured the liquid from the bottle down her throat, closing her mouth as she coughed and gagged on it.’
    retch, heave, dry-heave, convulse, almost vomit, feel nauseous
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  • 3be gagging forBritish informal Be very eager to have or do (something)

    ‘I'm absolutely gagging for a pint’
    ‘we'll be sitting in front of the TV at five to seven next Saturday evening, gagging for the next instalment’
    • ‘I'm gagging for the next episode.’
    • ‘It also looks wonderful, and if you like wine, you'll be gagging for a glass by the end!’
    • ‘Once you smell the hops and barley cooking in the mash tuns, or whatever brewers do, you'll be gagging for a pint of the finished product.’
    • ‘As soon as the girls had gone everyone was gagging for more.’
    • ‘It will have earned its place as a television classic, in the same way This Life did, while leaving its audience gagging for more.’
    • ‘Could it be that, beneath their veneer of unworldly innocence, they're all secretly gagging for it?’
    • ‘The ending leaves you gagging for a sequel and already there are rumours that the film is part of a trilogy.’
    • ‘The flight was only two and a quarter hours, which was great, but at that stage, after the multiple beverages, we were like camels in the desert gagging for a cup of tea.’
    • ‘I was gagging for a ciggy so I lit one up.’
    • ‘We got to the bar, I was gagging for a beer, as I hadn't time for one at the club.’
    • ‘They'll be gagging for the opportunity to play live in front of a crowd.’
    • ‘Around 1300 + steps and three hours or so later, we were back where started from and absolutely gagging for a beer.’

Origin

Middle English perhaps related to Old Norse gagháls ‘with the neck thrown back’, or imitative of a person choking.

Pronunciation

gag

/ɡaɡ/

Main definitions of gag in English

: gag1gag2

gag2

noun

  • A joke or an amusing story, especially one forming part of a comedian's act or in a film.

    ‘films that goad audiences into laughing at the most tasteless of gags’
    • ‘We're looking for jokes, gags, funny stories, pictures, whatever, but they must be your original work.’
    • ‘One of the film's funniest jokes is a running gag involving a car radio stuck on a 1980s soft rock revival station.’
    • ‘Bearing in mind the other critical sin of giving away some of the best puns and visual gags in film history to readers who may not have seen them, all I will say is that the answer is yes, a thousand times yes.’
    • ‘The music is just as loud as in the previous films, and the gags and one-liners are more often lame than funny.’
    • ‘This is one of those commentary tracks that won't entertain with funny stories or gags, but is certainly packed with informative tidbits on the making of the film.’
    • ‘The movie is a veritable mine of in-jokes, strange gags, and funny one-liners.’
    • ‘They poke fun at subjects - their films include gags about disabilities, among other things - while seeming to avoid cruelty.’
    • ‘I've never seen a short film this jam-packed with gags, and you don't have to be an intellectual to get any of them - only a sci-fi geek.’
    • ‘In fact, there are very few gags in the film at all.’
    • ‘That doesn't mean there aren't some fine gags in the film.’
    • ‘The film's racial stereotype gags might be offensive if they weren't so shamelessly dumb and done to death.’
    • ‘Third, even an amusing gag distracts the reader from your main point.’
    • ‘York's newest comedy club takes its name from the oldest gag in the joke book.’
    • ‘I think everyone will love it - there are jokes and gags in it that both young and old will enjoy, as well as some great songs and general all round fun.’
    • ‘It could have something to do with the lack of anything new or novel (it's sad when a comedian is already recycling gags and skits after such a minor canon of creation).’
    • ‘Packed with rapid-fire jokes, visual gags and an infectious exuberance, the character's big-screen debut is film comedy at its silliest and most inspired.’
    • ‘It's just like having a plasma widescreen except there's someone standing in front of it cracking rather amusing gags.’
    • ‘Today, sex is just a gag, a joke expressed in far more ‘juvenile’ terms.’
    • ‘Trust me when I say there is nothing in this film beyond the stunts (to be fair, there is an amusing gag involving a pair of women's underwear).’
    joke, jest, witticism, quip, pun, play on words, double entendre, funny remark, witty remark
    View synonyms

verb

[with object]
  • Tell jokes.

    ‘they gagged about their sexual problems’

Origin

Mid 19th century (originally theatrical slang): of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

gag

/ɡaɡ/