drag

1 of 3

noun

plural drags
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
3
a
: 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
: something (such as slowness of movement or sagging) caused by or as if by dragging
(snooker) "Played it with drag as well, Dennis. I mean absolutely beautifully played, that was: drag on the cue ball so once it's made contact with the object ball there's hardly any life left on it. …"John Parrott
(geology) Friction along a fault surface may cause the rock layers adjacent to the fault to be bent or folded. … Such folding of the rocks abutting a fault is called dragW. John Nelson
c
dated slang : influence securing special favor : pull
"If you've got a drag with old Macy, maybe he'll raise you," was Charley's disheartening reply. "But he didn't raise me till I'd been here nearly two years."F. Scott Fitzgerald
4
a
: something that slows or impedes motion, action, or advancement
Bringing up the rear was the drag, the worst position in the line [of a herd of cattle]. Drag riders had to make sure the weakest members of the herd kept pace, while breathing all the dust kicked up by the entire herd.Vic Kovacs
b(1)
physics : the slowing 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 : a slowing 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
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
7
a
: 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 noun
Drag shows are events where performers impersonate characters from a certain gender and often don elaborate costuming and makeup.Lauren Wavra
The 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 dragAnna 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

drag

2 of 3

verb

dragged; dragging; drags

transitive verb

1
a(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
dragging the kids to the grocery store
(2)
: to extract by or as if by pulling
drag the truth out of him
c
: protract
drag a story out
2
a
: 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
Drag and drop any image into the search box on images.google.com to help determine whether a photo is fake.Laura Anastasia and Mary Kate Frank

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.
4
a
: 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
draggingly adverb

drag

3 of 3

adjective

: 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
Phrases
drag one's feet or less commonly drag one's heels
: to act in a deliberately slow or dilatory manner

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?
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
That much is clear as Establishment Washington returns to the city after an Independence Day holiday when many Democrats were thinking about how to declare their freedom from the political drag that has become President Joe Biden. Philip Elliott, TIME, 8 July 2024 Not only have federal regulations created more efficient cooling systems, but driving faster than around 50 mph with the windows down can create more drag, Drury said. J.j. McCorvey, NBC News, 4 July 2024
Verb
Across Washington, officials were signaling the end of what has been a mission fraught with weather and security problems, but which also has brought more than 19.4 million pounds of aid to starving residents in Gaza as the nine-month-long war between Israel and Hamas drags on. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, arkansasonline.com, 12 July 2024 That has provided some solace to residents, though less so as the months drag on and hostilities escalate. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, 12 July 2024
Adjective
That kind of lighthearted public exuberance has become unthinkable in the past two years, as drag has become a culture-war flash point, and half a dozen states, including Texas, have passed anti-drag legislation. Rachel Monroe, The New Yorker, 6 Dec. 2023 And RuPaul’s Drag Race star Trixie Mattel shattered boundaries as the first drag queen to perform at Stagecoach (an especially important appearance as states like Tennessee continue to introduce anti-drag legislation). Charisma Madarang, Rolling Stone, 1 May 2023 See all Example Sentences for drag 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'drag.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun, Verb, and Adjective

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

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb

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

Adjective

1887, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near drag

Cite this Entry

“Drag.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drag. Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

drag

1 of 2 noun
1
: a device for dragging under water to detect or gather objects
2
: something without wheels (as a sledge for carrying heavy loads) that is dragged, pulled, or drawn along or over a surface
3
a
: the act or an instance of dragging or drawing
b
: a draw on a pipe, cigarette, or cigar : puff
also : a drink of liquid
4
a
: something that slows down motion
b
: the force acting on a body (as an airplane) to slow it down as the body moves through a fluid (as air)
c
: something that hinders or obstructs progress
5
: someone or something boring
6
: street sense 1, road
the main drag

drag

2 of 2 verb
dragged; dragging
1
a
: to haul slowly or heavily
dragging the suitcase across the room
b
: to move with slowness or difficulty
dragged myself up the stairs
c
: to bring by or as if by force
dragged them to the opera
d
: to pass or cause to pass slowly
the day dragged on
2
: to hang or lag behind
3
: to trail along on the ground
4
: to search or fish with a drag
5
: to take part in a drag race
6
: to move (an item on a computer screen) using a mouse
draggingly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on drag

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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