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[ping-pong, -pawng] /ˈpɪŋˌpɒŋ, -ˌpɔŋ/ Informal.
verb (used with object)
to move back and forth or transfer rapidly from one locale, job, etc., to another; switch:
The patient was ping-ponged from one medical specialist to another.
verb (used without object)
to go back and forth; change rapidly or regularly; shift; bounce:
For ten years the foreign correspondent ping-ponged between London and Paris.
Origin of ping-pong
First recorded in 1900-05


[ping-pong, -pawng] /ˈpɪŋˌpɒŋ, -ˌpɔŋ/
Trademark. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ping-pong
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At the top of the plate is the beginning of a ping-pong net.

  • This is only a little game of "ping-pong" in progress, and some of the balls are missing!

  • She was the girl who was teaching the poet the elements of ping-pong.

    The Disentanglers Andrew Lang
  • The table decorations consisted of two ping-pong nets stretched diagonally across the table.

    Bright Ideas for Entertaining Mrs. Herbert B. Linscott
  • What instantly comes to your mind,” says my college friend who is “taking” Psychology, “when I say the word ‘ping-pong’?

    Life's Minor Collisions Frances Warner
British Dictionary definitions for ping-pong


trademark another name for table tennis Also called ping pong
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 ping-pong

1900, as Ping-Pong, trademark for table tennis equipment (Parker Brothers). Both words are imitative of the sound of the ball hitting a hard surface; from ping + pong (attested from 1823). It had a "phenomenal vogue" in U.S. c.1900-1905.


1901, from ping-pong (n.). In the figurative sense from 1952. Related: Ping-ponged; ping-ponging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for ping-pong



  1. To refer a patient, esp a Medicaid recipient, to other doctors in order to maximize fees: ''Medicaid mills'' or clinics reap enormous profits by such practices as ''Ping Ponging''
  2. o go back and forth; change rapidly or regularly; shift; bounce

[1972+ Medical; fr Ping-Pong, trademark for a manufacturer's table-tennis set and game]

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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