Definition of bingo in English:



  • A game in which players mark off numbers on cards as the numbers are drawn randomly by a caller, the winner being the first person to mark off all their numbers.

    [as modifier] ‘a bingo hall’
    and → housey-housey
    • ‘Card games, bingo games and dart-throwing competitions, all played for money, are endemic.’
    • ‘The internet is a major gambling hall for punters where they play poker bingo cards whatever; gamblers even get to play lotto online.’
    • ‘They used to return all the money spent buying bingo cards to the players, with no rake-off.’
    • ‘Once, working in a bingo hall, a caller asked him what he wanted to do with his life and Kay confessed he wasn't sure.’
    • ‘After you print out the bingo cards, you watch selected episodes to match up words and activities to your card!’
    • ‘The ten finalists were drawn randomly from a bingo machine and each one made their way up to the stage where they picked a key.’
    • ‘As anyone who lives in York knows, the opening of the new bingo hall marks the end of the road for the old Rialto.’
    • ‘Multimedia installs the slot-machine-like bingo player stations free of charge.’
    • ‘A loyal bingo player, a game she loved and hated to miss.’
    • ‘Looking more carefully, I see it is set up like a bingo card with rows and columns and animated illustrations that each has a life of its own.’
    • ‘Michael Mooney from Ahena was the lucky winner of the E300 bingo jackpot in the Town Hall last Thursday night week.’
    • ‘Many festivals have had performers, narrators, door prizes and a bingo game made to fit the theme.’
    • ‘Other former department stores are now a bingo hall and a billiards parlor.’
    • ‘Its profits jumped 16% as the Mecca bingo halls continued to draw in the punters.’
    • ‘McKenzie has a promising career as a bingo caller if he tires of television.’
    • ‘Bermudians will still be able to gamble on horse racing, the football pools, in the bingo halls and on internet gaming sites.’
    • ‘Anyone who had one of the bingo cards that had been pushed through people's letterboxes could therefore play the game without buying a newspaper.’
    • ‘After finishing the supper there was Bingo and Door prizes, the bingo games were called by Jack Fraser assisted by Brain Close.’
    • ‘The lucky winner of the bingo pool of E130 was Eileen Keveaney.’
    • ‘Its members also enjoy bingo every Tuesday night with the bingo cards supplied for the entire year by the association.’
    raffle, sweepstake, sweep, bingo, lotto, tombola, drawing of lots, pools
    View synonyms


  • 1A call by someone who wins a game of bingo.

    • ‘We yelled "bingo!"’
    • ‘A beano player was excited and yelled Bingo instead of Beano and that's how Bingo was born.’
    • ‘Whenever anyone yelled the magic "bingo," people groaned and just about threw their daubers around the room.’
    • ‘I was losing badly, but Jessica came within one space of winning when finally, someone yelled "Bingo!’
    • ‘Someone called out numbers and if you filled in a whole line, you yelled "Bingo" and got a set of dishes or something.’
  • 2Used to express satisfaction at a sudden positive event or outcome.

    ‘Just swipe the pen over a bar code and bingo! The recorder's programmed itself’
    • ‘Massage gently to mix and, bingo, you have a dose of high-protein tuna that's ready to go.’
    • ‘Well, just cut the rate of interest in half three or four more times and: bingo!’
    • ‘Joining and alighting, for two well-separated weeks; multiply up to make a year's use, and - bingo!’
    • ‘Add some scented climbers and a well thought-out colour scheme - bingo!’
    • ‘Pay your rent, pay your telephone, buy your groceries, see the doctor - bingo, it's gone.’
    • ‘Hearing some ruckus in Stuart's apartment, Kate peeks her head though his window from the fire escape and - bingo!’
    • ‘When you throw in sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, bingo!’
    • ‘Now, thanks to technology, you type in any postcode on the computer and, bingo, the name of the local MP appears in a nanosecond.’
    • ‘I felt the cold metal of the electronic device rub against my warm skin, bingo!’
    • ‘The Angels agree to give in a little to let the player win and, bingo, you've got yourself a deal at or near $8.5 million.’
    • ‘Simply look at the heels of your everyday shoes, and if the inner-heel area is wearing down faster than the rest of the heel - bingo!’
    • ‘So reunite with the old girlfriend or boyfriend and, bingo, you'll find the peace and simplicity of youth again.’
    • ‘All King Kev needs to do now is to get his team playing like that for the full 90 minutes every week and… bingo!’
    • ‘These guys literally dangle an Airport base station onto a DSL connection they already have, and - bingo!’
    • ‘It seemed normal practice to make up some previous experience, put in a primed friend's name and number as a reference and, bingo, work rolled in.’
    • ‘The central banker tips you off to place your bet that the bond price will go up, and, bingo!’
    • ‘A quiet Sunday at home might do wonders for both of us, and if it brings you on, then - bingo!’


1920s (as exclamation): of unknown origin.