The word "gag" has a few different meanings, depending on whether it’s used as a verb or a noun.

When used as a verb, "gag" means to choke or have the feeling of choking, or it’s a natural reflex of the tongue pushed to the back of the mouth to prevent an object from going down the throat:

  • Michelle gagged a little when the doctor swabbed the back of her throat.
  • Brian gagged on some brussel sprouts that his mother told him to eat.
  • The idea of eating an earthworm makes me want to gag.
  • That’s so gross, it makes me want to gag.

When "gag" is used as a noun, it’s a joke or a plan to create a funny situation.

  • Saturday Night Live is a television program well known for raunchy humor and politically-inspired gags.
  • Gags written for the performance weren’t very funny.
  • Samantha has been the victim of several office gags over the last few years.

A gag can also be something that prevents a person from speaking:

  • The thieves tied up their victims and put gags in their mouths.
  • The judge imposed a gag order on everyone serving on the jury. (gag order = a legally-binding directive that comes from a judge)
  • The man was prevented from speaking through the use of a a gag placed in and around his mouth.


He has a gag in his mouth.

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October 7, 2013