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 1.
(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
‹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 a.
‹informal› imprison someone
• they’ve been banged up for something they didn’t do.
‹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’.