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noun, plural (especially collectively) gar, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) gars.
  1. Also called garfish, garpike. any predaceous freshwater fish of the genus Lepisosteus, of North America, covered with hard, diamond-shaped scales and having long jaws with needlelike teeth.
  2. needlefish(def 1).

Origin of gar1

1755–65, Americanism; shortened form of garfish


verb (used with object), garred, gar·ring.
  1. Scot. to compel or force (someone) to do something.
  2. Scot. and North England Obsolete. to do, perform, or cause.

Origin of gar2

1250–1300; Middle English geren, garren, gairen < Old Norse gera to do, make; akin to Old English gearwian to prepare


  1. garage.


  1. Grand Army of the Republic.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gar

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Wait till I do that which may gar her look at me,' said the chivalrous youth.

    Two Penniless Princesses

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • "I've got 'em, Gar," cried Emens, and the two started back for their guns.

    Shadows of Shasta

    Joaquin Miller

  • Gar Dosson growls this out between his teeth as he sets his gun in the corner.

    Shadows of Shasta

    Joaquin Miller

  • Also called the guard-fish, but it is from the Anglo-Saxon gar, a weapon.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • God curse my sister Margot and the day she gar'd me carry the letters!

    Privy Seal

    Ford Madox Ford

British Dictionary definitions for gar


noun plural gar or gars
  1. short for garpike, garfish


  1. (tr) Scot to cause or compel

Word Origin

from Old Norse
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

Word Origin and History for gar


"pike-like fish," 1765, American English, shortening of garfish (mid-15c.), from Old English gar "spear," from Proto-Germanic *gaizo- (cf. Old Norse geirr, Old Saxon, Old High German ger, German Ger "spear"), from PIE *ghaiso- "stick, spear" (see goad).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper