mid-15c., transitive, "to choke, strangle" (someone), possibly imitative and perhaps influenced by Old Norse gag-hals "with head thrown back." The sense of "stop a person's mouth by thrusting something into it" is first attested c. 1500. Intransitive sense of "to retch" is from 1707. Transitive meaning "cause to heave with nausea" is from 1945. Related: Gagged; gagging.
"a joke," 1863, especially a practical joke, probably related to theatrical sense of "matter interpolated in a written piece by the actor" (1847); or from the sense "made-up story" (1805); or from slang verbal sense of "to deceive, take in with talk" (1777), all of which perhaps are from gag (v.) on the notion of "to stuff, fill." Gagster "comedian" is by 1932.
"something thrust into the mouth or throat to prevent speaking," 1550s, from gag (v.); figurative use, "violent or authoritative repression of speech," is from 1620s. Gag-law in reference to curbs on freedom of the press is from 1798, American English. The gag-rule that blocked anti-slavery petitions in the U.S. House of Representatives was in force from 1836 to 1844.
"dawdle, dally," 1862, lallygag, American English, perhaps from dialectal lolly "tongue" + gag "deceive, trick." Related: Lollygagged; lollygagging.
"contraction of the preputial orifice," 1670s, from Greek phimosis, literally "muzzling," from phimos "a muzzle, a gag," a word of unexplained etymology.
"to put a muzzle on, bind or confine the mouth of to prevent from biting or eating," early 15c., moselen, from muzzle (n.). Figurative use, "to gag, silence," is from 1610s. Related: Muzzled; muzzling.
late 14c., "soil of the earth; cultivated land;" also "a piece of land forming part of a clergyman's benefice," from Old French glebe, from Latin gleba, glaeba "clod, lump of earth," possibly from a PIE *glem- or *glom-, which might mean "contain, embrace" or "ball," or might be two different roots. Possible cognates include Old English clamm "a tie, fetter;" Old High German klamma "trap, gorge;" Old Irish glomar "gag, curb;" Latin globus "sphere," gleba, glaeba "clod, lump of earth;" Old English clyppan "to embrace;" Lithuanian glėbys "armful," globti "to embrace, support."
"a pledge, a pawn, something valuable deposited to insure performance," especially "something thrown down as a token of challenge," c. 1300, from Old French gage "pledge (of battle), security, guarantee; pay, reward" (11c.), from Frankish *wadja-, from Proto-Germanic *wadi- (see wed). Italian gaggio, Spanish and Portuguese gage are French loan-words.
"crazy, silly," 1920, probably from French gaga "senile, foolish," probably imitative of meaningless babbling.