\ 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 noun Drag 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

Other Words from drag


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for drag

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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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 In fact, the custom SP48 Unica actually has an improved aerodynamic balance that cuts overall drag by 12 percent. Tori Latham, Robb Report, 6 May 2022 Baseball Prospectus found that the balls this year have more drag when traveling through the air. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 6 May 2022 Taco Bell kicked off their new drag brunch on May 1 at its flagship cantina in Las Vegas. Camille Fine, USA TODAY, 6 May 2022 Labor costs from Omicron surge drag Ascension into the red. Nicholas Florko, STAT, 4 May 2022 What’s funny is how tame the first film now feels in comparison to where the series would go, telling a relatively simple story about a cop going undercover in a group of drag racers. Megan Jones, Chicago Tribune, 3 May 2022 The removal of Grubhub’s drag on its business also will turn all eyes back to Jet’s European markets. Laura Forman, WSJ, 1 May 2022 Students in the club, led by the teacher in charge of the group, demonstrated erotic dance routines in drag outfits, according to local outlet Lancaster Online. Fox News, 30 Apr. 2022 Either Twitter or Musk can terminate the fee after Oct. 24, 2022, but this deadline can be extended six months if antitrust or regulatory drag approval out. Anne Sraders, Fortune, 30 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Most of Beijing is being tested for the virus, fanning fears of an unprecedented lockdown that could drag on global growth. Vildana Hajric, Fortune, 26 Apr. 2022 Life shouldn't be spent worrying about the things trying to drag us down. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, 21 Apr. 2022 That’s what makes being an early adopter a risk and why many marketers drag their feet on evolving their outreach strategies. Cathy Song Novelli, Forbes, 15 Apr. 2022 The company suspended production at its Shanghai plant amid uncertainty over the city’s pandemic lockdown and ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, which could drag on sales. Dana Hull, Bloomberg.com, 1 Apr. 2022 The racially anxious men and women with hoods, tiki torches and business suits will do everything in their power to put America in a violent chokehold and drag it back to 1953. Washington Post, 11 Feb. 2022 Two years into the global outbreak, no one is happy to see Omicron come along and threaten to drag us back to square one. Karen Kaplan Science And Medicine Editor, Los Angeles Times, 30 Nov. 2021 That early schedule is not exactly Murderers’ Row in terms of interest or competition, so trying to drag people to a game, especially a Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 Nov. 2021 But Martina was able to grab him the first time and drag him back into the home, and, later, pick the lock of the bathroom, the complaint said. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But to keep it a buck, makeup removal ain't no crystal stair for non-drag artists either. Jihan Forbes, Allure, 15 Feb. 2022 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, 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, 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, 25 June 2017 See More

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.

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

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Time Traveler for drag

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near drag




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Statistics for drag

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Drag.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drag. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for drag


\ 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 …— Anna 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

More from Merriam-Webster on drag

Nglish: Translation of drag for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of drag for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about drag


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