1. Something forced into or put over the mouth to prevent speaking or crying out.
2. An obstacle to or a censoring of free speech.
3. A device placed in the mouth to keep it open, as in dentistry.
a. A practical joke: played a gag on his roommates.
b. A comic effect or remark. See Synonyms at joke.
5. The act or an instance of gagging or choking.
v. gagged, gag·ging, gags
1. To prevent from speaking or crying out by using a gag.
2. To stop or restrain from exercising free speech: censorship laws aimed at gagging the press.
3. To cause to choke, retch, or undergo a regurgitative spasm.
4. To keep (the mouth) open by using a dental gag.
5. To block off or obstruct (a pipe or valve, for example).
1. To experience a regurgitative spasm in the throat, as from revulsion to a food or smell or in reflexive response to an introduced object.
2. To make jokes or quips: Your friends are always gagging around.
[From Middle English gaggen, to suffocate, perhaps of imitative origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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