\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

Situations like that potential one, some scholars argue, can lead to a broader drag on the overall economy. Emily Stewart, Vox, "America’s monopoly problem, in one chart," 26 Nov. 2018 One of the instructors wrapped a cigarette in a book of paper matches, lit it, took a drag, and tossed it into a clump of dry grass. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "Charred and Burned: The School That Turns Firefighters Into Fire Detectives," 4 Oct. 2018 This won't be Ru's first foray into the talk-show world: The RuPaul Show aired for two seasons and 100 episodes on VH1 starting in 1996 and also featured the drag superstar interviewing celebrity guests. Henry Youtt, Billboard, "RuPaul Aims for Daytime With New Talk Show Pilot," 10 July 2018 In Thursday’s 90-minute season 10 finale, Aquaria beat out fellow competitors Eureka, Asia O’Hara, and Kameron Michaels to be declared the next drag superstar. Nick Vadala, Philly.com, "West Chester-born drag queen Aquaria wins 'RuPaul's Drag Race'," 29 June 2018 Each model dons a unique, holiday-ready beauty look, from activist Sebastian Rosemarie’s geometric eye makeup to 11-year-old drag icon Desmond’s glittery brows and scarlet red lips. Tess Garcia, Teen Vogue, "Fluide's Gorgeous, Inclusive Holiday Campaign Is Dedicated to Chosen Families Everywhere," 14 Nov. 2018 Base metals have taken a hammering this year on worries that the U.S.-China’s trade spat could put a drag on Chinese economic growth and in turn stymie metals demand. David Hodari, WSJ, "Metals Rise as Dollar Ticks Lower," 14 Nov. 2018 The Curie third stage also carried a drag sail technology demonstrator, named NABEO, which will attempt to passively de-orbit inactive small satellites and reduce space junk. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Lab now has a fully operational small satellite launcher," 12 Nov. 2018 What better way to celebrate her momager matriarch than to call out an iconic drag? Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Kylie Jenner Is Releasing a Todd Kraines Lip Kit for Old-School KUWTK Fans," 9 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Using royal icing, pipe straight lines or circles; then, using a toothpick, gently drag to create patterns. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Cookie Skulls and Pumpkin Sugar Cookie Cutouts," 2 Oct. 2018 The woman was apparently dragged into a pond by a large alligator. CBS News, "Hissing alligator shot by deputy after girl forced to climb tree in Florida," 3 July 2018 For example, if your relative’s DNA is found at a crime scene, you could be dragged into an investigation due to your kinship. Mason Marks, STAT, "DNA donors must demand stronger protection for genetic privacy," 30 May 2018 Why is Facebook fighting so hard to drag down its competitors? Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook has a growing morale problem," 15 Nov. 2018 Finally, the robo-wasp has a winch to drag its haul home. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Inspired by Wasps, This Micro-Drone Lifts 40 Times its Weight," 25 Oct. 2018 While the number of active listings has risen, home sales have fallen dramatically across the U.S., as inventory woes and affordability constraints continue to drag down the market as a whole. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Home prices have finally hit a wall on the West Coast," 16 Oct. 2018 The displays of opposition continued right down to the wire, with some women having to be dragged from the courtroom screaming. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Amidst Protest and Fury, Brett Kavanaugh Is Confirmed to the Supreme Court," 6 Oct. 2018 Some families purposefully bring their kids to the truck to expose them to drag, which Hambleton sees as becoming another popular facet of American life, thanks, in part, to mainstream media like RuPaul’s Drag Race. Melissa Kravitz, Condé Nast Traveler, "The 'Texas Chili Queens' Behind the World's First and Only Drag Queen Food Truck," 1 Oct. 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

6 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on drag

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with drag

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for drag

Spanish Central: Translation of drag

Nglish: Translation of drag for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of drag for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about drag

Comments on drag

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