[ping-pong, -pawng]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]

Trademark. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ping-pong

Contemporary Examples of ping-pong

Historical Examples of ping-pong

  • 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 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’?

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

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