bang1 /baŋ/


I. noun

1. a sudden loud, sharp noise

the door slammed with a bang.
2. a sharp blow causing a sudden, loud noise

I went to answer a bang on the front door.
3. a sudden painful blow

a nasty bang on the head.
4. ( bangs)
(N. Amer.) a fringe of hair cut straight across the forehead.

she brushed back her wispy bangs.
[from a use of the adverb bang to mean ‘abruptly’.]
‹vulgar slang› an act of sexual intercourse.
(chiefly N. Amer.) the character ‘!’.
II. verb [with obj.]

1. strike or put down (something) forcefully and noisily

he began to bang the table with his fist
Sarah banged the phone down

[no obj.]
someone was banging on the door.
2. [with obj. and adverbial] cause (something) to strike something else unexpectedly and sharply

I banged my head on the low beams
[no obj.]
she banged into some shelves in the darkness.
3. [with obj. and adverbial of direction] (of a sports player) hit (a ball or a shot) forcefully and successfully

he banged home four penalties in the opening twenty minutes.
4. [no obj.] make a sudden loud noise, typically repeatedly

the shutter was banging in the wind.
5. (with reference to something such as a door) open or close noisily

[with obj. and complement]

he banged the kitchen door shut behind him.
6. [no obj., with adverbial of direction] (of a person) move around or do something noisily

she was banging around the kitchen.
(N. Amer.) cut (hair) in a fringe.
‹vulgar slang› (of a man) have sexual intercourse with (a woman).
III. adverb

(chiefly Brit.) exactly

the train arrived bang on time.
(chiefly Brit.) completely

bring your wardrobe bang up to date.
IV. exclamation

1. used to convey the sound of a sudden loud noise

party poppers went bang.
2. used to convey the suddenness of an action

the minute something becomes obsolete, bang, it’s gone.
V. phrases

1. bang for one’s (or the) buck

‹informal› value for money.

classy sports cars with huge bang for your buck.
2. bang goes ——

(Brit.) used to express the sudden collapse of a plan or hope

my first thought when I heard the news was ‘Bang goes my knighthood!’.
3. bang on

‹informal› exactly right

the programme is bang on about the fashion world.
4. bang (or knock) people’s heads together
see head.
5. get a bang out of

(N. Amer.)
‹informal› derive excitement or pleasure from

some people get a bang out of reading that stuff.
6. with a bang
a. abruptly

the remark brought me down to earth with a bang.
b. successfully or impressively

the occasion went with a bang.
VI. phrasal verbs

1. bang away at

‹informal› do something in a persistent or dogged way

he was banging away at his novel.
2. bang on about

‹informal› talk at tedious length about (something)

the government banged on about competition and the free market.
3. bang something out
a. play music noisily, enthusiastically, and unskilfully.

Dad was annihilating a Beethoven sonata, banging out notes.
b. produce something hurriedly or in great quantities

they weren’t banging out ads in my day the way they are now.
4. bang someone/thing up
‹informal› imprison someone

they’ve been banged up for something they didn’t do.
(N. Amer.)
‹informal› damage or injure someone or something.

he banged up his knee.
– origin mid 16th cent.: imitative, perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare with Old Norse bang ‘hammering’.

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