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[bing-goh] /ˈbɪŋ goʊ/
noun, (sometimes initial capital letter)
a form of lotto in which balls or slips, each with a number and one of the letters B, I, N, G, or O, are drawn at random and players cover the corresponding numbers printed on their cards, the winner being the first to cover five numbers in any row or diagonal or, sometimes, all numbers on the card.
(used to call a win in bingo.)
(used to express suddenness or swiftness, as of an action):
He waved his hand, and, bingo, the card reappeared.
(used to acknowledge someone's sudden understanding or correct response):
Bingo! That's just what I meant!
1935-40; apparently alteration of beano1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bingo
  • The run-down parish gym is also used as a dining hall and for bingo and budget meetings.
  • Nearby, folks play bingo, and in the band shell a group does a sound check for the big dance.
  • In winter they bring their mothers here every week for free prime rib or to play bingo.
  • bingo, as any teacher of writing or rhetoric would acknowledge.
  • bingo, mixed departmental vote and denials up the line.
  • Similarly, betting shops are not allowed to be open for business on winter evenings, but there is no such ban on bingo clubs.
  • Smoking indoors in public areas is now mostly restricted to the likes of nursing homes and bingo halls.
  • Those are bingo-night stakes, but more in the spirit of such bets than the mayors' wager, which involves trading service projects.
  • Banning smoking at charity bingo games may have health benefits, but it is proving harmful to earnings.
  • Guests can also play bingo, blackjack and other games at all hours of the day and night, anytime of the year.
British Dictionary definitions for bingo


noun (pl) -gos
a gambling game, usually played with several people, in which numbers selected at random are called out and the players cover the numbers on their individual cards. The first to cover a given arrangement of numbers is the winner Compare lotto
sentence substitute
a cry by the winner of a game of bingo
an expression of surprise at a sudden occurrence or the successful completion of something: and bingo! the lights went out
Word Origin
C19: perhaps from bing, imitative of a bell ringing to mark the win
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bingo

lotto-like game of chance, 1936; many theories about its origin, none satisfying; the most likely is bingo! as an exclamation of sudden realization or surprise (attested from 1923). Uncertain connection to the slang word for "brandy" (1690s); attested as "liquor" in American English, 1861. Thomas Chandler Haliburton ("Sam Slick") in "The Americans at Home" (1854) recounts a story of a drinking game in which the children's song about the farmer's dog was sung and when it came time to spell out the name, every participant had to take a letter in turn, and anyone who missed or flubbed had to drink.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for bingo

bingo 1


An exclamation in reaction to something sudden and unexpected, or expressing sudden success: Have your contracts and debts declared void and, bingo, you're back in business


bingo 2


Cheap wine

[Canadian; fr late 1600s bingo, ''brandy,'' and US mid-1800s bingo, ''liquor'']

bingo 3


A more or less benign gambling game (1930s+)

Related Terms

beach blanket bingo

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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