- a large bronze disk, of Asian origin, having an upturned rim, that produces a vibrant, hollow tone when struck, usually with a stick or hammer that has a padded head.
- a shallow bell sounded by a hammer operated electrically or mechanically: The fire-alarm system will automatically sound the gong.
- (in a clock or watch) a rod or wire, either straight or bent into a spiral, on which the time is struck.
- British Slang. a medal or military decoration.
- to sound as a gong does; ring, chime, or reverberate.
Origin of gong
1800–10; < Malay, Javanese: any suspended bossed and rimmed gong; presumably imitative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for gong
In 2011, the wires were clogged with stories of a potential Peace Prize gong for Julian Assange.Nobel Nomination Nonsense
January 30, 2014
She was tasked by Kofi Annan to be a United Nations Messenger of Peace, an appropriately meaningless, but distinguished, gong.Jane Goodall’s Troubling, Error-Filled New Book, ‘Seeds of Hope’
March 26, 2013
When Jagger finally got his gong in 2002, Prince Charles stood in for his mother.Did Jagger and Princess Margaret Have a Fling?
July 17, 2012
The sound of a gong within the house floated through the still June air.Viviette
William J. Locke
The sound of the gong, seconded by the electrifying and resonant "Aboard!"
Unfortunately the gong was inexpressive of the mood of the person who beat upon it.Alice Adams
Sandy promised; and then the gong rang and the boys and girls hurried into the school.Frank Roscoe's Secret
The performance was hardly completed when the gong rang for supper.The Cruise of the Dry Dock
T. S. Stribling
- Also called: tam-tam a percussion instrument of indefinite pitch, consisting of a metal platelike disc struck with a soft-headed drumstick
- a rimmed metal disc, hollow metal hemisphere, or metal strip, tube, or wire that produces a note when struck. It may be used to give alarm signals when operated electromagnetically
- a fixed saucer-shaped bell, as on an alarm clock, struck by a mechanically operated hammer
- British slang a medal, esp a military one
- (intr) to sound a gong
- (tr) (of traffic police) to summon (a driver) to stop by sounding a gong
C17: from Malay, of imitative origin
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 gong
c.1600, from Malay gong, probably imitative of its sound when struck. As a verb from 1903.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper