See more synonyms for bingo on
noun (sometimes initial capital letter)
  1. 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.
  1. (used to call a win in bingo.)
  2. (used to express suddenness or swiftness, as of an action): He waved his hand, and, bingo, the card reappeared.
  3. (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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bingo

Contemporary Examples of bingo

Historical Examples of bingo

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for bingo


noun plural -gos
  1. 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 winnerCompare lotto
sentence substitute
  1. a cry by the winner of a game of bingo
  2. an expression of surprise at a sudden occurrence or the successful completion of somethingand bingo! the lights went out

Word Origin for bingo

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

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