gag up


2 [gag] Informal.
a joke, especially one introduced into a script or an actor's part.
any contrived piece of wordplay or horseplay.
verb (used without object), gagged, gagging.
to tell jokes or make amusing remarks.
to introduce gags in acting.
to play on another's credulity, as by telling false stories.
verb (used with object), gagged, gagging.
to introduce usually comic interpolations into (a script, an actor's part, or the like) (usually followed by up ).

1770–80; perhaps special use of gag1; compare Old Norse gagg yelp Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gag1 (ɡæɡ)
vb , gags, gagging, gagged
1.  (tr) to stop up (a person's mouth), esp with a piece of cloth, etc, to prevent him or her from speaking or crying out
2.  (tr) to suppress or censor (free expression, information, etc)
3.  to retch or cause to retch
4.  (intr) to struggle for breath; choke
5.  (tr) to hold (the jaws) of (a person or animal) apart with a surgical gag
6.  (tr) to apply a gag-bit to (a horse)
7.  slang be gagging for, be gagging to to be very eager to have or do something
8.  a piece of cloth, rope, etc, stuffed into or tied across the mouth
9.  any restraint on or suppression of information, free speech, etc
10.  a surgical device for keeping the jaws apart, as during a tonsillectomy
11.  parliamentary procedure another word for closure
[C15 gaggen; perhaps imitative of a gasping sound]

gag2 (ɡæɡ)
1.  a joke or humorous story, esp one told by a professional comedian
2.  a hoax, practical joke, etc: he did it for a gag
vb , gags, gagging, gagged
3.  (intr) to tell jokes or funny stories, as comedians in nightclubs, etc
4.  (often foll by up) theatre
 a.  to interpolate lines or business not in the actor's stage part, usually comic and improvised
 b.  to perform a stage jest, either spoken or based on movement
[C19: perhaps special use of gag1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

mid-15c., "to choke, strangle," possibly imitative or influenced by O.N. gaghals "with head thrown back." The sense of "stop a person's mouth" is first attested c.1500. Related: Gagged; gagging. The noun is 1550s, from the verb.

"joke," 1823, probably related to theatrical sense of "matter interpolated in a written piece by the actor" (1847), or from slang verbal sense of "to deceive, take in with talk" (1777), both on notion of "stuff, fill" (see gag (v.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

gag (gāg)
v. gagged, gag·ging, gags

  1. To choke, retch, or undergo a regurgitative spasm.

  2. To prevent from talking.

An instrument adjusted between the teeth to keep the mouth from closing during operations in the mouth or throat.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
Graphic Artists Guild
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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