bang off, Chiefly British Slang. immediately; right away.
    bang on, Chiefly British Slang. terrific; marvelous; just right: That hat is absolutely bang on.

Origin of bang

1540–50; 1930–35 for def 5; compare Old Norse banga to beat, hammer, Low German bangen to strike, beat, German dialect banken; perhaps orig. imitative

Synonyms for bang




Often bangs. a fringe of hair combed or brushed forward over the forehead.

verb (used with object)

to cut (the hair) so as to form a fringe over the forehead.
to dock (the tail of a horse or dog).

Origin of bang

1860–65, Americanism; short for bangtail





or bang



a mild preparation of marijuana made from young leaves and stems of the Indian hemp plant, Cannabis sativa, drunk with milk or water as a fermented brew or smoked for its hallucinogenic effects.
a water pipe.

Origin of bhang

1555–65; < Hindi bhāng < Sanskrit bhangā hemp Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bang

Contemporary Examples of bang

Historical Examples of bang

  • So he lay down in the coffin but no sooner was he inside when bang!

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • Soon a stone flew against the door—then another— and bang, bang!

  • We stood gaping and staring at her, not knowing what to make of this manoeuvre, when "bang!"

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • A pushing open of the outer door, a bang, and hasty footsteps in the hall.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • "Bonsoir, monsieur," was the sharp reply, and the window was lowered with a bang.

British Dictionary definitions for bang




a short loud explosive noise, as of the bursting of a balloon or the report of a gun
a hard blow or knock, esp a noisy one; thumphe gave the ball a bang
informal a startling or sudden effecthe realized with a bang that he was late
slang an injection of heroin or other narcotic
taboo, slang an act of sexual intercourse
get a bang out of US and Canadian slang to experience a thrill or excitement from
with a bang successfullythe party went with a bang


to hit or knock, esp with a loud noise; bumpto bang one's head
to move noisily or clumsilyto bang about the house
to close (a door, window, etc) or (of a door, etc) be closed noisily; slam
(tr) to cause to move by hitting vigorouslyhe banged the ball over the fence
to make or cause to make a loud noise, as of an explosion
(tr) British
  1. to cause (stock prices) to fall by rapid selling
  2. to sell rapidly in (a stock market), thus causing prices to fall
taboo, slang to have sexual intercourse with
(intr) slang to inject heroin, etc
bang for one's buck informal value for moneythis option offers more bang for your buck
bang goes informal that is the end ofbang goes my job in Wapping
bang one's head against a brick wall to try to achieve something impossible


with a sudden impact or effectbang went his hopes of winning; the car drove bang into a lamp-post
preciselybang in the middle of the road
bang to rights slang caught red-handed
go bang to burst, shut, etc, with a loud noiseSee also bang up

Word Origin for bang

C16: from Old Norse bang, banga hammer; related to Low German bangen to beat; all of imitative origin




a fringe or section of hair cut straight across the forehead

verb (tr)

to cut (the hair) in such a style
to dock (the tail of a horse, etc)

Word Origin for bang

C19: probably short for bangtail short tail




a variant spelling of bhang




a preparation of the leaves and flower tops of Indian hemp, which has psychoactive properties: much used in IndiaSee also cannabis

Word Origin for bhang

C16: from Hindi bhāng
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 bang

1540s, "to strike hard with a loud blow," from a Scandinavian sourse akin to Old Norse banga "to pound, hammer" of echoic origin. Slang meaning "have sexual intercourse with" first recorded 1937. Bang-up "excellent, first-rate," 1820, probably shortened from phrase bang up to the mark. The noun is recorded from late 16c.

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper

[T.S. Eliot, "Hollow Men," 1925]



1590s, from Hindi bhang "narcotic from hemp," from Sanskrit bhangah "hemp." Cognate with Russian penika, Polish pienka (from Russian) "hemp." The word first appears in Western Europe in Portuguese (1560s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bang in Medicine


[băng, bäng]Bernhard Lauritz Frederik 1848-1932

Danish veterinarian who discovered Brucella abortus, the agent of brucellosis in cattle and of undulant fever in humans.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with bang


In addition to the idioms beginning with bang

  • bang away
  • bang for the buck
  • bang into
  • bang one's head against
  • bang out
  • bang up

also see:

  • beat (bang) one's head against the wall
  • get a bang out of
  • go over big (with a bang)
  • more bang for the buck
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.