foot-drag·​ging ˈfu̇t-ˌdra-giŋ How to pronounce foot-dragging (audio)
: failure to act with the necessary promptness or vigor

Examples of foot-dragging in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But amid the current catastrophe in Gaza—the most devastating war for both sides in decades—such foot-dragging can no longer stand in the way. Mohammad Shtayyeh, Foreign Affairs, 4 July 2024 Hochul endorsed key pieces of the bill, but then by all accounts used little of her massive leverage in negotiations, leaving the foot-dragging state Assembly to hold up this bill and other climate initiatives in the final weeks of the session. John Raskin, New York Daily News, 30 June 2024 No better evidence of the bad faith and bias on the part of the right-wing Supreme Court majority exists than its foot-dragging on the decision concerning whether felon and former president Donald Trump can be prosecuted for an insurrection. Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, 24 June 2024 The governor called a rare special session for the legislature to pass a bill ensuring Joe Biden appears alongside Donald Trump on the November ballot after much foot-dragging by his own party. New York Daily News Editorial Board, New York Daily News, 28 May 2024 Firing a perfect spiral about 40 yards down the left sideline, Welliver connected with receiver Jackson Harper, from Simsbury, who did enough toe-tapping and foot-dragging for the catch to be called complete on the field. Joe Arruda, Hartford Courant, 21 Apr. 2024 When that faith fades, the result is not a coup but foot-dragging, inaction, and ultimately desertion. Daniel Treisman, Foreign Affairs, 2 Nov. 2022 Democrats, fed up with House Republicans' foot-dragging and temporary spending bills, agreed. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports,, 1 Mar. 2024 Hungary’s foot-dragging was less clear in nature with Budapest mostly venting its annoyance over Swedish criticism of the direction of democratic development under nationalist premier Orban rather than any concrete demands. Reuters, NBC News, 26 Feb. 2024

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

Word History

First Known Use

1947, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of foot-dragging was in 1947

Dictionary Entries Near foot-dragging

Cite this Entry

“Foot-dragging.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

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