\ˈdrag \

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

c : conveyance

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 dressed as members of the opposite sex caricature gender stereotypes through the use of often outrageous costumes and exaggerated mannerisms often used before another noun a drag show

b(1) : stereotypically gendered clothing or costume worn by someone of the opposite sex often used in the phrase in drag My kind of TV show featured cartoons, puppets or Milton Berle in drag.— Dennis Drabelle

(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

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Other Words from drag


draggingly \ˈdra-giŋ-lē \ adverb

Examples of drag in a Sentence


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.


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?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Policy makers will be reassured by a rise in exports and signs of dissipating railway bottlenecks, while the jump in imports implies trade acted as a major drag on first-quarter growth. Theophilos Argitis, Bloomberg.com, "Canada Posts Its Biggest Trade Deficit Ever," 3 May 2018 About 260 union window washers represented by Service Employees International Union Local 1 were covered by a three-year contract that expired Saturday as negotiations for a new contract drag on. Alexia Elejalde-ruiz, chicagotribune.com, "High-rise window washers go on strike for higher pay, better insurance: 'You put your life on the ropes every day'," 2 July 2018 Since these games are likely to act as a net drag on productivity, what steps should be taken to prepare? Fortune, "The World Cup Is a Productivity Killer. Managers Should Embrace the Tourney to Meet Their—Ahem—Goals," 15 June 2018 Environmental regulating drags on interminably, driving up project costs. George Skelton, latimes.com, "California is the first state to require solar panels on new homes. Here's why Big Brother is on to something," 21 May 2018 Hamahang lights a cigarette and takes a slow drag, enjoying this long-time habit that doesn’t seem to affect his singing. Maija Liuhto, Longreads, "A Music So Beautiful the Birds Fell from the Trees," 28 June 2018 Our favorite curling wand for quick styling Styling your hair can be a real drag and can seem futile in the summer heat. Courtney Campbell, USA TODAY, "Here are the 5 best deals on Amazon right now," 19 June 2018 SpaceShipOne’s wing would fold up to a 60-degree angle, changing the configuration so the plane’s greater surface area would create more drag and slow it down during reentry. Samantha Masunaga, latimes.com, "An interest in model airplanes paved the way for Ben Diachun of Scaled Composites," 8 June 2018 There are new wetsuits that have copied the overlapping teeth-like denticles of shark skin to reduce drag, and goggles that copy how fish and some flowers trap water to create a clearer view. Matthew Berger, Smithsonian, "Dolphins Have a Mysterious Network of Veins That Could Be Key to Preventing the Bends," 26 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Anticipating that the process could drag into 2019 or beyond, Assemblyman Mike Gipson (D-Carson) introduced a bill that would allow the State Water Board to appoint an administrator to Sativa to manage operations during the dissolution process. Ruben Vives, latimes.com, "Abolishing a water district isn't easy — even when it's accused of nepotism, mismanagement and delivering brown water," 7 July 2018 Tun’s attempts to contact Facebook officials in the United States dragged into the night but were unsuccessful. Timothy Mclaughlin, WIRED, "How Facebook’s Rise Fueled Chaos and Confusion in Myanmar," 6 July 2018 This movie renders a towering figure of her time into any old outsider, and drags Chastain into that snoozefest alongside her. K. Austin Collins, HWD, "Review: Woman Walks Ahead Proves Good Intentions Don’t Make a Good Movie," 29 June 2018 There’s a reason for that: in the past century, the personalized leadership style Trump and Kim represent has dragged the world into two cataclysmic wars, and to the brink of nuclear annihilation. Heather Hurlburt, Daily Intelligencer, "The Winners and Losers of President Trump’s Meeting With Kim Jong-un," 12 June 2018 Truex started slowing snipping bits of Busch's lead off over the last 40 laps, but even if the race had dragged out another 40 laps into overtime, Truex still didn't have enough pure speed to overtake the No. 18. Brendan Marks, charlotteobserver, "Kyle Busch celebrates 'dream come true' at 600, eclipses Earnhardt, Petty ... everyone | Charlotte Observer," 28 May 2018 John and several other kids rushed over, each dragging a kayak into the slow-moving water. Laura Ungar, The Courier-Journal, "How do Kentucky communities keep kids off drugs? They UNITE," 24 May 2018 The other cyclist, 32-year-old S.J. Brooks, wasn’t so lucky; after turning away from Sederbaum, the cat pounced on, killed, and dragged Brooks into the woods. National Geographic, "Cougar That Killed Cyclist Was Underweight, Likely Desperate," 21 May 2018 Without sandy buffers, the deadly waves are even more destructive, and a retreating tsunami drags sand into the ocean, aggravating the problem. 12. Discover Magazine, "20 Things You Didn't Know About ... Sand," 18 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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.

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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


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


see drag entry 1


see drag entry 1

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Statistics for drag

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for drag

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

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More Definitions for drag



English Language Learners Definition of drag

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: someone or something that is boring, annoying, or disappointing

: someone or something that makes action or progress slower or more difficult

: 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 \

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

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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).


a state of commotion or excitement

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