gag - Wiktionary
See also: Gag and GAG
The verb is from 15th-century Middle Englishgaggen, Early Modern English gagge, possibly imitative or perhaps related to or influenced by Old Norse gag-háls ("with head thrown backwards"; > Norwegian dialectal gaga (“bent backwards”)). The intransitive sense "to retch" is from 1707.
The noun is from the 16th century, figurative use (for "repression of speech") from the 1620s. The secondary meaning "(practical) joke" is from 1863, of unclear origin.
gag (plural gags)
  1. A device to restrain speech, such as a rag in the mouth secured with tape or a rubber ball threaded onto a cord or strap.
    2014, Anil Aggrawal, APC Essentials of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, page 298:
    Blood may seep to the back of the throat and may clot, producing an “artificial gag” of clotted blood.
  2. (law) An order or rule forbidding discussion of a case or subject.
  3. A joke or other mischievous prank.
    2012 May 20, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “Marge Gets A Job” (season 4, episode 7; originally aired 11/05/1992)”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
    We all know how genius “Kamp Krusty,” “A Streetcar Named Marge,” “Homer The Heretic,” “Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie” and “Mr. Plow” are, but even the relatively unheralded episodes offer wall-to-wall laughs and some of the smartest, darkest, and weirdest gags ever Trojan-horsed into a network cartoon with a massive family audience.
  4. (film) a device or trick used to create a practical effect; a gimmick
    2016 November 3, Ian Failes, “How the King of Practical Effects Conquered ‘Hacksaw Ridge’”, in Inverse[2]:
    On Hacksaw Ridge, Oliver and his team of effects artisans devised gags for that spectacular flamethrower shot along with other devastating body and bullet hits, and several mortar and full-scale explosions, all aimed at communicating the reality of battle.
  5. A convulsion of the upper digestive tract.
  6. (archaic) A mouthful that makes one retch or choke.
    • 2008, Charles Lamb, Percy Fitzgerald, The Life, Letters, and Writings of Charles Lamb - Volume 3, page 153:
      L. has recorded the repugnance of the school to gags, or the fat of fresh beef boiled, and sets it down to some superstition.
    • 2013, Kathleen Cioffi, Alternative Theatre in Poland, page 123:
      ...and to take that fire behind the bony bars of the chest and into the tower of the windpipe, in one breath, before you choke on a gag of air thickened from the last breath of the executed the breathing of hot barrels and blood streaming on concrete,...
  7. Mycteroperca microlepis, a species of grouper.
    Synonym: gag grouper
    1996, C.C. Koenig, “Reproduction in Gag (Mycteroperca microlepis) (Pisces: Serranidae) in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Consequences of Fishing Spawning Aggregations”, in Biology, Fisheries, and Culture of Tropical Groupers and Snappers:
    The shallow water groups (Family Serranidae), including gag (Mycteroperca microlepis), black grouper (M. bonaci), scamp (M. phenax), and red grouper (Epinephalus morio), support major commercial and recreational fisheries in the southeastern United States.
Derived terms
device to restrain speech
order or rule forbidding discussion
German: Maulkorberlass m
joke or prank
gag (third-person singular simple present gags, present participle gagging, simple past and past participle gagged)
  1. (intransitive) To experience the vomiting reflex.
    He gagged when he saw the open wound.
  2. (transitive) To cause to heave with nausea.
    2008, Stephen King, "A Very Tight Place"
    His empty stomach was suddenly full of butterflies, and for the first time since arriving here at scenic Durkin Grove Village, he felt an urge to gag himself. He would be able to think more clearly about this if he just stuck his fingers down his throat […]
  3. (transitive) To restrain someone's speech by blocking his or her mouth.
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 1, in The Fate of the Artemis[3]:
      “ […] Captain Markam had been found lying half-insensible, gagged and bound, on the floor of the sitting-room, his hands and feet tightly pinioned, and a woollen comforter wound closely round his mouth and neck ; whilst Mrs. Markham's jewel-case, containing valuable jewellery and the secret plans of Port Arthur, had disappeared. […] ”
    • 1906, Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman:
      They said no word to the landlord, they drank his ale instead,
      But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed;
      Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets at their side!
  4. (transitive) To pry or hold open by means of a gag.
    1917, Francis Gregor (translator), De Laudibus Legum Angliae, Sir John Fortescue, written 1468–1471, first published 1543.
    […] some have their mouths gagged to such a wideness, for a long time, whereat such quantities of water are poured in, that their bellies swell to a prodigious degree […]
  5. (transitive, figuratively) To restrain someone's speech without using physical means.
    When the financial irregularities were discovered, the CEO gagged everyone in the accounting department.
    c. 1840, Thomas Macaulay, Essay on Machiavelli
    The time was not yet come when eloquence was to be gagged, and reason to be hoodwinked.
  6. (transitive, intransitive) To choke; to retch.
  7. (transitive, intransitive, obsolete, slang) To deceive (someone); to con.
    1777, Frances Burney, Journals & Letters, Penguin 2001, p. 79:
    I endeavoured what I could to soften off the affectation of her sudden change of Disposition; and I gagged the Gentleman with as much ease as my very little ease would allow me to assume.
Derived terms
gag me with a spoon
To experience the vomiting reflex
To restrain someone's speech
Related terms
gag in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
Further reading
gag at OneLook Dictionary Search
From English gag.
IPA(key): /ɡaɡ/
gag m (plural gags)
Borrowed from English gag.
gag m (invariable)
gag, joke
Synonyms: scherzo, freddura; see also​Thesaurus:​battuta
gag m (plural gags)
From French gag.
gag n (plural gaguri)
Declension of gag
indefinite articulationdefinite articulationindefinite articulationdefinite articulation
nominative/accusative(un) gaggagul(niște) gagurigagurile
genitive/dative(unui) gaggagului(unor) gagurigagurilor
From English gag.
gag m (plural gags)
gag (joke)
Etymology 1
(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium. Particularly: “From 各?”)
gag (Sawndip forms or or , old orthography gag)
  1. by oneself; alone
    Synonym: (dialectal) haek
  2. on one's own; by oneself; without permission
    Synonym: (dialectal) gujgag
  3. just; only
Derived terms
Etymology 2
(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium. Particularly: “From 咯? 咳?”)
gag (old orthography gag)
to eject; to cough up
Synonym: (dialectal) gak
Last edited on 12 May 2021, at 14:14
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