\ ˈdrag How to pronounce drag (audio) \
plural drags

Definition of drag

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : something used to drag (see drag entry 2) with especially : a device for dragging under water to detect or obtain objects
2 : something that is dragged, pulled, or drawn along or over a surface: such as
a agriculture : harrow
b : a sledge (see sledge entry 3 sense 2) for conveying heavy bodies
3a : the act or an instance of dragging or drawing: such as
(1) : a drawing along or over a surface with effort or pressure
(2) : motion effected with slowness or difficulty also : the condition of having or seeming to have such motion
(3) : a draw on a pipe, cigarette, or cigar took a drag on his cigar also : a draft (see draft entry 1 sense 2b) of liquid
b : a movement, inclination, or retardation caused by or as if by dragging the drag of his bottom lip
c slang : influence securing special favor : pull
4a : something that retards or impedes motion, action, or advancement
b(1) physics : the retarding force acting on a body (such as an airplane) moving through a fluid (such as air) parallel and opposite to the direction of motion
(2) mechanical engineering : friction (see friction sense 1b) between engine parts also : retardation due to friction
c : burden, encumbrance the drag of population growth on living standards
d : one that is boring or gets in the way of enjoyment thinks studying is a drag this sickly kid is going to be a social drag— Edmund Morris
5 hunting
a : an object drawn over the ground to leave a scented trail
b : a clog (see clog entry 1 sense 1a) fastened to a trap to prevent the escape of a trapped animal
6 : street, road the main drag
7a : entertainment in which performers caricature or challenge gender stereotypes (as by dressing in clothing that is stereotypical of another gender, by using exaggeratedly gendered mannerisms, or by combining elements of stereotypically male and female dress) and often wear elaborate or outrageous costumes "… Atlanta … was, like, mecca for drag. It had the traditional drag queens who were female impersonators. But, you know, I had come from the punk rock side of the tracks, and we did drag as a social comment …"— RuPaul often used before another nounDrag shows are events where performers impersonate characters from a certain gender and often don elaborate costuming and makeup.— Lauren WavraThe drama sparked a conversation within the LGBTQ community regarding trans, female, and nonbinary drag performers.— Xavier Piedra — see also drag king, drag queen
b(1) : the costumes worn by drag performers performing in drag also : stereotypically gendered clothing worn by someone who is of a different gender … writing about her first experience using the men's toilets while in male drag— Anna Carey
(2) : costume What was perhaps most embarrassing about Cyrus' dismal gig was its cutesy toys—a giant teddy bear from which she popped to cavort with a dance troupe in fuzzy bear drag.— Camille Paglia especially : a costume used to impersonate a person or kind of person … Paul Newman and Robert Redford romping about in bad-guy drag like naughty Hardy Boys ain't my idea of a western. — Mark Goodman
8 sports : drag race


dragged; dragging

Definition of drag (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a(1) : to draw or pull slowly or heavily : haul dragging a box down the hall
(2) : to cause to move with slowness or difficulty dragged myself up the stairs dragging his feet
(3) : to cause to trail (see trail entry 1 sense 1a) along a surface wandered off dragging the leash
b(1) : to bring by or as if by force or compulsion had to drag her husband to the opera
(2) : to extract by or as if by pulling drag the truth out of him
c : protract drag a story out
2a : to pass a drag over drag a field
b : to explore with a drag drag the pond for the drowning victim
c hunting and fishing : to catch with a dragnet (see dragnet sense 1)
3 baseball : to hit (a drag bunt) while moving toward first base
4 computers : to select and move (an item on a computer screen) by using a mouse, a touch screen, etc. drag the icon to the bottom row

intransitive verb

1 : to hang or lag behind Stop dragging and hurry up.
2 : to fish or search with a drag (see drag entry 1 sense 1)
3 : to trail along on the ground Your scarf is dragging.
4a : to move slowly because of fatigue was dragging after the long trip
b : to proceed or continue laboriously or tediously The lawsuit dragged on for years.
5 : draw sense 4a drag on a cigarette
6 : to make a plucking or pulling movement
7 sports : to participate in a drag race
drag one's feet or less commonly drag one's heels
: to act in a deliberately slow or dilatory manner

Definition of drag (Entry 3 of 3)

: of, being, involving, or intended for a person wearing clothing typical of the opposite sex : of, being, involving, or intended for a person in drag (see drag entry 1 sense 7b(1)) a drag ball

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from drag


draggingly \ ˈdra-​giŋ-​lē How to pronounce drag (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for drag

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of drag in a Sentence

Noun My parents can be such a drag. They won't let me do anything. These meetings are a total drag. Let me have a drag from your cigarette. He took a long drag on the cigarette. Verb She dragged one of the other tables over to ours. Firefighters dragged the man to safety. One of the parents eventually dragged the screaming toddler out of the store. The broken muffler dragged behind the car. The dog's leash was dragging along the ground. The child is always dragging his blanket. The puppy ran up to us, dragging her leash behind her. He dragged himself up the stairs and climbed into bed. Can you drag yourself away from that computer?
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Browns rookie offensive lineman Jedrick Wills was cited for drag racing Tuesday along with teammate Rashard Higgins, Adam Ferrise reports. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Gov. Mike DeWine refuses to give details on next rounds of COVID-19 vaccinations: The Wake Up for Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021," 6 Jan. 2021 Tip-Up Town USA in Houghton Lake promotes itself as Michigan’s longest-running winter festival, with a polar bear dip, snowmobile drag racing, ice fishing contest and more in Roscommon County. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Robotic pets, Washington Monument, senators vaccinated: News from around our 50 states," 22 Dec. 2020 Thompson also credited differences in the internal construction, noting that the street tire is designed with occasional drag racing in mind. Eric Tingwall, Car and Driver, "Mustang Shelby GT500 Is Quicker without Track Tires. Here's Why," 18 Dec. 2020 Based on the true story of the Enders sisters, Courtney and Erica try to find their way into the competitive and male-dominated sport of drag racing. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "The 60 Best Disney Channel Movies of All Time," 10 Dec. 2020 Marshall said traffic control is more than just stopping drag racing or drivers with loud mufflers. Suzanne Baker, chicagotribune.com, "Naperville council wants 4 new cops, social worker and sustainability staffer added to 2021 budget," 24 Nov. 2020 Last month, several law enforcement agencies, including Minneapolis police, the state patrol and other departments in Hennepin County, began a coordinated effort to stop drag-racing in downtown Minneapolis. Washington Post, "Minneapolis violence surges as police officers leave department in droves," 13 Nov. 2020 Last month, several law enforcement agencies, including Minneapolis police, the state patrol and other departments in Hennepin County, began a coordinated effort to stop drag-racing in downtown Minneapolis. Holly Bailey, Anchorage Daily News, "Minneapolis violence surges as police officers leave department in droves," 13 Nov. 2020 Corruption was rife—one general was charged with renting out a mig-29 for illicit drag racing between cars and jets on a German airfield. The Economist, "Russian military forces dazzle after a decade of reform," 2 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The competition includes simulating the arduous and essential skills of firefighting, from climbing a five-story tower in full gear to forcible entry, victim rescue and fire hose hoist and drag. NOLA.com, "Firefighters challenge themselves, each other," 31 Dec. 2020 This one’s aluminum hardshell makes for a slim, seven-inch profile on top of a vehicle, which doesn’t drag mpg down as much as the softshell variety. The Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Gear of the Year: The Best Products We Tested in 2020," 29 Dec. 2020 But not every car fares equally well in automatic carwashes, especially the kinds that drag a car set to the neutral gear through the brushes. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, "A Trip to the Automatic Carwash Can Be Tricky in Newer Vehicles," 26 Dec. 2020 Even that prospect is mildly surprising, given that the union has motivation to drag out the process. Phil Miller, Star Tribune, "MLB Insider: Sorry Twins fans, baseball is a long way from being out of the woods," 12 Dec. 2020 The falling apart portion was easy, with one of those drag-out public family fights. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, "How Kristen Stewart and Dan Levy bring heart to Hulu's Christmas movie 'Happiest Season'," 20 Nov. 2020 While approaching the kill site to help drag the two monster bucks out, Hinckley’s brother, Ralph jumped and shot a six-point buck. Bob Humphrey, Outdoor Life, "5 of the Biggest Bucks Ever Taken in the Northeast," 19 Nov. 2020 The Trump campaign has filed multiple lawsuits in battleground states that threaten to drag out the process. Matt Egan, CNN, "The election isn't over but Wall Street is already celebrating. Here's why," 5 Nov. 2020 Going to court to take over the unfinished skyscraper promised to be a costly, yearslong process, especially given Mr. Trump’s reputation for using the legal system to drag out fights and grind down opponents. David Enrich, New York Times, "How Trump Maneuvered His Way Out of Trouble in Chicago," 27 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Portrayed by Jared Johnson, 32, who grew up on Milwaukee's north side, Hall emerged in Milwaukee's drag scene nine years ago, becoming a regular performer at Hamburger Mary's. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee's Jaida Essence Hall wins 'RuPaul's Drag Race' season 12," 29 May 2020 She's been working on drag magazine VELOUR and has continued to produce her show Nightgowns, which showcases a diverse array of drag performances in Brooklyn. John Paul Brammer, Teen Vogue, "Sasha Velour Gives an Intimate Look at the Making of "Pirate Jenny" and Talks Pushing Drag Into New Directions," 4 May 2018 The sunny skies were great and 70-degree temps were perfect, but a flag-snapping crosswind made the drag track sensitive to navigate for those not in tune with the conditions. Elton Alexander, cleveland.com, "NHRA Norwalk 2017: Steve Torrence gets fourth triumph at Summit Racing Equipment Nationals," 25 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'drag.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of drag


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a(1)


1887, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for drag

Noun, Verb, and Adjective

Middle English dragge, probably from Middle Low German draggen grapnel; akin to Old English dragan to draw — more at draw

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about drag

Time Traveler for drag

Time Traveler

The first known use of drag was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for drag

Last Updated

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Drag.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drag. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for drag


How to pronounce drag (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of drag

 (Entry 1 of 2)

informal : someone or something that is boring, annoying, or disappointing
informal : someone or something that makes action or progress slower or more difficult
informal : the act of breathing in smoke from a cigarette, cigar, pipe, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of drag (Entry 2 of 2)

: to pull (someone or something that is heavy or difficult to move)
: to move along the ground, floor, etc., while being pulled
: to cause (something) to move along the ground, floor, etc., by pulling it


\ ˈdrag How to pronounce drag (audio) \

Kids Definition of drag

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something used for pulling along (as a device used underwater to catch something)
2 : something without wheels (as a heavy sled for carrying loads) that is pulled along or over a surface
3 : something that slows down motion He never forgot to put on the drag as we went downhill …— Anne Sewell, Black Beauty
4 : a dull or unpleasant event, person, or thing


dragged; dragging

Kids Definition of drag (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to pull slowly or heavily I dragged over a chair.
2 : to move with slowness or difficulty She dragged herself out of bed.
3 : to move or cause to move along on the ground You're dragging your scarf. Your scarf is dragging.
4 : to bring by or as if by force He dragged us to the store.
5 : to pass or cause to pass slowly The day dragged.
6 : to hang or lag behind Quit dragging—walk faster.
7 : to search or fish by pulling something (as a net) under water

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on drag

What made you want to look up drag? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!