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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!
Origin of bingo
First recorded in 1935-40; apparently alteration of beano1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bingo
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • bingo, true to his promise, was ever at his side ready to serve him.

    The heart of happy hollow Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • "Well, we're glad to see you back, Asbury," said bingo patronisingly.

    The heart of happy hollow Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • When Asbury was gone, Mr. bingo lay back in his chair and laughed.

    The heart of happy hollow Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • My idea was to learn the bingo in advance, so as to be ready for it.

    Once a Week Alan Alexander Milne
  • "You told me not to maunder just now," says bingo, with ponderous sarcasm.

    The Dop Doctor

    Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • I said hurriedly, "Yes, yes; that's the dog I want; that—that's bingo!"

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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