[gawng, gong]
  1. 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.
  2. a shallow bell sounded by a hammer operated electrically or mechanically: The fire-alarm system will automatically sound the gong.
  3. (in a clock or watch) a rod or wire, either straight or bent into a spiral, on which the time is struck.
  4. British Slang. a medal or military decoration.
verb (used without object)
  1. 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
Related formsgong·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gonged

Historical Examples of gonged

British Dictionary definitions for gonged


  1. Also called: tam-tam a percussion instrument of indefinite pitch, consisting of a metal platelike disc struck with a soft-headed drumstick
  2. 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
  3. a fixed saucer-shaped bell, as on an alarm clock, struck by a mechanically operated hammer
  4. British slang a medal, esp a military one
  1. (intr) to sound a gong
  2. (tr) (of traffic police) to summon (a driver) to stop by sounding a gong
Derived Formsgonglike, adjective

Word Origin for 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 gonged



c.1600, from Malay gong, probably imitative of its sound when struck. As a verb from 1903.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper