Definition of gong in English:



  • 1A metal disc with a turned rim, giving a resonant note when struck.

    • ‘Drums, gongs and cymbals are played during the dance to symbolically heal the lion and scare away any evil spirits and bring good luck.’
    • ‘Suddenly, there was a deep, echoing ringing, as though someone had struck a giant gong.’
    • ‘The gong then sounded for dinner which was enjoyed immensely with lots of wine.’
    • ‘At once, the diminutive Goblin leapt off the platform and struck a gong, signalling the beginning of the final battle.’
    • ‘Rhythm is provided by drums, iron gongs, cymbals, rattles, and hand clapping.’
    • ‘The single, deep note sounded by the gong sent twelve people running toward the center of the arena.’
    • ‘For the first two minutes there's the astonishing range of sounds made by a collection of traditional Chinese gongs, and when the orchestra enters it feels effortlessly oriental.’
    • ‘It contains more than 40 drums, gongs, a vibraphone and seven-feet marimbas to name but a few.’
    • ‘A gong, cymbals, a triangle, and a timpani, as well as the pentatonic scale, create a sense of the Far East.’
    • ‘They are operated by two men who are usually martial arts masters, accompanied by musicians playing a large drum, cymbals and gongs.’
    • ‘Other resonant devices like chimes, tuning forks and gongs are utilized by professionals.’
    • ‘After enjoying the breathtaking views along the east coast for about an hour the dinner gong chimed and all went below deck to feast on the lavish buffet provided by this 5 star establishment.’
    • ‘Sure, it had a fine array of percussion - timpani, snare drum, bass drum, gong, glockenspiel - but they were just there for effect.’
    • ‘Other instruments used in folk music include transverse and vertical flutes, drums, cymbals, gongs, and tambourines.’
    • ‘Dance music can be played by musicians walking or dancing in a procession, and it features long drums, gongs, cymbals, and bamboo flutes.’
    • ‘One of their most popular musical ensembles played during such occasions is the gamelan, an instrumental ensemble made up of drums, xylophones, metallophones, tuned gongs, and bamboo flutes.’
    • ‘The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is remarkably clear, and provides nice surround effects for the gongs and other musical instruments heard on the soundtrack.’
    • ‘In the orchestra, I am thinking of using a certain number of brass and also metallic percussion: tubular bells, gongs, tam-tam, etc.’
    • ‘He struck the gong, and it made a deep and yet bright sound that echoed through the hall, and all the Danes laughed as he struck it again and again.’
    • ‘A variety of groups in the Hull area will be able to use the Gamelan - a set of chimes, gongs and tuned metal bars made in Java - being purchased by the city council with the help of a £9,000 award.’
    chime, gong, alarm
    View synonyms
  • 2British informal A medal or award.

    • ‘A record number of nominations have flooded in for the York Tourism Awards - but there is still time for you to make your selection before the gongs are finally awarded at an Oscars-style ceremony.’
    • ‘It was a good week for gongs as another prestigious awards ceremony also took place.’
    • ‘There are no gongs for being included in this list, no awards to collect, no accolades.’
    • ‘There were no gongs awarded and no deals clinched.’
    • ‘Speaking from France, where she is visiting her brother, Mrs Bailey said she was deeply honoured to receive the gong, but stressed that her staff deserved recognition too.’
    • ‘Several other borough residents were awarded gongs in the New Year's honours.’
    • ‘The Water Lane pub and hotel has been the Yorkshire regional winner for the past two years but the couple were still surprised to be handed the UK gong at a Warwickshire award ceremony.’
    • ‘It's the best ten minute boost to female self-esteem ever invented, and I'd be the first to award Heat a gong honouring their services to womankind.’
    • ‘It also lifted the Pioneer Award, the gong voted for by viewers.’
    • ‘But gongs were awarded for ‘services to the defence industries’.’
    • ‘At the ABC's internal local radio awards, the gong for best promotion went to a giveaway of a free trip to France.’
    • ‘Set in a rural town in the midlands, Pure Mule won five Irish Film and Television Award gongs in November including Best TV Director.’
    • ‘Hardly an evening such as this passes these days without an awards ceremony, and so the gongs were handed round to some of the better known in the sector and everybody went home reasonably content.’
    • ‘Here's a prize for what must be the most inappropriate gong ever awarded.’
    • ‘The pair received their gongs at a glittering awards ceremony held last night at the Hilton hotel, in Birmingham.’
    • ‘Started when Smith was 23, it has won the Commonwealth Writer's Best First Book award among other gongs.’
    • ‘At last night's sparkling RTS Sports Awards, the BBC added six gongs to its trophy cabinet as the television industry paid tribute to BBC Sport talent both on and off screen across the nation.’
    • ‘Each year well deserving personalities - many from the worlds of sport, business and entertainment - line up to receive gongs in the traditional round of awards given by the Queen on the recommendation of advisers.’
    • ‘The 66-year-old from Basildon is one of only six people to be honoured with a gong from the Basildon Concorde Rotary Club in the organisation's 27-year history.’
    • ‘Prestigious food awards have brought her best-chef gongs and pelted her with Lifetime Achievement titles.’


  • Sound a gong or make a sound like that of a gong being struck.

    • ‘Check out these 80 musicians from China who'll be gonging, cymbaling and bamboo-fluting their way through a performance at Penn's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.’
    • ‘There was the beating of the Tibetan drum and some gonging also.’
    • ‘The two were silent for a moment, and then suddenly the large clock in the hallway gonged on the hour.’
    • ‘Those who fail to tickle the audience will be gonged loudly off the stage.’
    • ‘Suddenly a bell gonged loudly through the palace.’
    • ‘It was wonderfully meditative, and as I sat there cross-legged, gonging away and soaking up the mystical reverberations, I got to thinking.’


Early 17th century: from Malay gong, gung, of imitative origin.