A gag is a piece of cloth that's tied around a person's face to keep them from speaking or being heard. Cartoon bad guys often tie up their victims and put gags over their mouths.

To use a gag for shutting someone up is to gag them. Both the noun and verb forms of gag can also be figurative: "Her government is trying to gag her by censoring her," or "The lack of a right to free speech in some countries is a gag." Another way to gag is to retch, or begin to vomit. The root of gag is probably the Old Norse gag-hals, "with head thrown back."

Definitions of gag
  1. noun
    restraint put into a person's mouth to prevent speaking or shouting
    synonyms: muzzle
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    type of:
    constraint, restraint
    a device that retards something's motion
  2. verb
    prevent from speaking out
    “The press was gagged
    synonyms: muzzle
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    type of:
    hush, hush up, quieten, shut up, silence, still
    cause to be quiet or not talk
  3. verb
    tie a gag around someone's mouth in order to silence them
    “The burglars gagged the home owner and tied him to a chair”
    synonyms: muzzle
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    type of:
    bind, tie
    fasten or secure with a rope, string, or cord
  4. verb
    struggle for breath; have insufficient oxygen intake
    “he swallowed a fishbone and gagged
    synonyms: choke, strangle, suffocate
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    type of:
    hurt, suffer
    feel pain or be in pain
  5. verb
    be too tight; rub or press
    synonyms: choke, fret
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    type of:
    compact, compress, constrict, contract, press, squeeze
    squeeze or press together
  6. verb
    cause to retch or choke
    synonyms: choke
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    type of:
    make sick or ill
  7. verb
    make an unsuccessful effort to vomit; strain to vomit
    synonyms: heave, retch
  8. noun
    a humorous anecdote or remark intended to provoke laughter
    “he knows a million gags
    synonyms: jape, jest, joke, laugh
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    show 9 types...
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    belly laugh, howler, riot, scream, sidesplitter, thigh-slapper, wow
    a joke that seems extremely funny
    blue joke, blue story, dirty joke, dirty story
    an indelicate joke
    ethnic joke
    a joke at the expense of some ethnic group
    funny, funny remark, funny story, good story
    an account of an amusing incident (usually with a punch line)
    a joke that is appreciated only by members of some particular group of people
    a one-line joke
    shaggy dog story
    a long rambling joke whose humor derives from its pointlessness
    sick joke
    a joke in bad taste
    sight gag, visual joke
    a joke whose effect is achieved by visual means rather than by speech (as in a movie)
    type of:
    humor, humour, wit, witticism, wittiness
    a message whose ingenuity or verbal skill or incongruity has the power to evoke laughter
  9. verb
    make jokes or quips
    “The students were gagging during dinner”
    synonyms: quip
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    type of:
    jest, joke
    tell a joke; speak humorously
Word Family
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