Definition of ding-dong in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈdɪŋdɒŋ/


1 [in singular] British A fierce argument or fight: they had a bit of a ding-dong
More example sentences
  • In June there was a bit of a ding-dong when it turned out that thousands of customers were still waiting for their upgrade for the company's workstations.
  • The team-mates, who played in the same position, then had a bit of a ding-dong.
  • It's not a full-blown ding-dong, but a mid-level verbal skirmish, the sort of thing that lies behind many a loving relationship.
2 dated A riotous party.
Example sentences
  • The moment Portsmouth clinched promotion to the Premiership at the end of last season, football supporters started positively salivating at the prospect of some good old, traditional south coast ding-dongs.
  • I suspect that presidential-style debates will irritate many viewers, especially those who are touchy about seeing the schedules knocked around to accommodate vote-for-me ding-dongs.
3North American A silly or foolish person.
Example sentences
  • After all, who else deserves public recognition for dealing with those ding-alings, dingbats, and ding-dongs who dial you for answers to really dumb questions.

adverb& adjective

1With the simple alternate chimes of or as of a bell: [as adverb]: the church bells go ding-dong [as adjective]: he heard the ding-dong tones on the aircraft
1.1 [as adverb] British Energetically or wildly: her biological clock is going ding-dong
2 [as adjective] British informal (Of a contest) evenly matched and hard fought: the game was an exciting ding-dong battle
More example sentences
  • An incredible ding-dong match - the lead changed hands seven times - played out in front of full, noisy stands showed that rugby league was back in York with a bang louder than the fireworks that greeted the players.
  • Three hundred and ten riders, representing 31 nations, are entered across the three disciplines, with cross country arguably offering spectators the best prospect of a ding-dong battle among the leaders.
  • In the first-half, it was hardly a see-saw, ding-dong cup battle - City's excellently organised defence and master-plan saw to that - but it was intriguing all the same.


Mid 16th century: imitative.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ding-dong

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.