\ ˈnag How to pronounce nag (audio) \
nagged; nagging

Definition of nag

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to irritate by constant scolding or urging
2 : badger, worry

intransitive verb

1 : to find fault incessantly : complain
2 : to be a persistent source of annoyance or distraction


noun (1)

Definition of nag (Entry 2 of 3)

: one who nags habitually


noun (2)

Definition of nag (Entry 3 of 3)

: horse especially : one that is old or in poor condition

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Other Words from nag


nagger noun

Synonyms for nag

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of nag in a Sentence

Verb Mom's always nagging me about my hair. All you ever do is nag. My parents are always nagging me to clean my room. He kept nagging her until she agreed to see the movie. Quit nagging! I already said I'm not going.
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First Known Use of nag


circa 1828, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun (1)

1925, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nag


probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse nagga to moan, complain

Noun (2)

Middle English nagge; akin to Dutch negge small horse

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Time Traveler for nag

Time Traveler

The first known use of nag was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Nag.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for nag



English Language Learners Definition of nag

: to annoy (someone) by often complaining about his or her behavior, appearance, etc.
: to annoy (someone) with repeated questions, requests, or orders
: to cause (someone) to feel annoyed or worried for a long period of time


\ ˈnag How to pronounce nag (audio) \
nagged; nagging

Kids Definition of nag

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to annoy by repeated complaining, scolding, or urging Mom nagged me to finish my homework.
2 : to annoy continually or again and again … Mrs. Frisby could not quite get rid of a nagging worry …— Robert C. O'Brien, Rats of NIMH



Kids Definition of nag (Entry 2 of 2)

: an old and usually worn-out horse

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More from Merriam-Webster on nag

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nag

Nglish: Translation of nag for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nag for Arabic Speakers

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