\ˈsag \
sagged; sagging

Definition of sag 

(Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to droop, sink, or settle from or as if from pressure or loss of tautness

2a : to lose firmness, resiliency, or vigor spirits sagging from overwork

b : to decline especially from a thriving state

3 : drift

4 : to fail to stimulate or retain interest

transitive verb

: to cause to sag : leave slack in



Definition of sag (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a tendency to drift (as of a ship to leeward)

2a : a sagging part the sag in a rope

b : a drop or depression below the surrounding area

c : an instance or amount of sagging

3 : a temporary decline (as in the price of a commodity)

Definition of SAG (Entry 3 of 3)

Screen Actors Guild

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Synonyms for sag

Synonyms: Verb


Synonyms: Noun

droop, hang, slack, slackness

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Examples of sag in a Sentence


The roof is sagging in the middle. The economy began to sag. As all our efforts failed, our spirits sagged.


if there's too much sag in the rod, the curtains will drag on the floor
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Iranians are protesting in the streets again, only a few months after the regime crushed nationwide demonstrations over the country’s sagging economy and widespread corruption. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Iran’s Persistent Protests," 3 July 2018 The ceiling is crumbling, the walls chipping, the floorboards sagging; stray wooden planks are strewn against the walls. Andrew R. Chow, New York Times, "Nina Simone’s Childhood Home Gets ‘National Treasure’ Designation," 18 June 2018 There are a lot of mysteries addressed in Simon's songs, though a man's sagging physical fitness is not a major one among them. Houston Chronicle, "On Paul Simon, sad songs and being soft in the middle," 2 June 2018 Loose or broken roofing materials, curled shingles, sagging roofing, loose flashing and depressions near pipes are common signs of a problem. Wilson Weaver,, "3 home improvement issues you should never ignore," 9 Apr. 2018 But research doesn’t support this notion: A 2013 French study even suggests that wearing a bra actually encourages sagging by weakening supportive connective tissue in breasts. Amanda Macmillan,, "7 Things You Can and Can’t Do About Saggy Breasts," 20 Mar. 2018 Stuck with sagging skin: Surgery helped him lose almost 500 pounds. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "Surgeons worry policy may help people waiting for livers on coasts at expense of Hoosiers," 28 Feb. 2018 China’s yuan has sagged against the dollar this year, which might require the central bank to intervene in currency markets. San Antonio Express-News, "China’s options to hit US go beyond imports," 9 July 2018 The quintessential neighborhood joint serves outstanding pies, with sharp, tangy tomato sauce and a puffy crust that sags just so at the center. Ben Mesirow, Los Angeles Magazine, "The Ultimate Pizza Crawl Through Northeast L.A.," 23 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This sag causes audio to break up, a trademark of the tube-amp sound. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "What a Fender Amp Looks Like When You Tear It Apart," 24 Mar. 2015 Despite a melodic, eclectic score, the almost three-hour-long show, with its episodic storytelling and flashbacks, sags in spots. Julia M. Klein,, "Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's Ragtime thrills," 17 June 2018 At their current running times, though, the series lags and sags in a way that will leave viewers bored stiff. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Netflix’s mediocre Lost in Space remake, explained in one episode," 13 Apr. 2018 These problems all emerged when the Glass House, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, initiated a ceiling sag stabilization project in 2015. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "A Glass House renovation," 10 Apr. 2018 But her weight loss left her with sags of frustrating excess skin. Julie Mazziotta,, "Woman Struggling with 'Tumors' of Excess Skin After Losing 200 Lbs.: 'I Beat Myself Up Over It'," 14 Mar. 2018 Eating well There’s no hard evidence linking diet to breast sag, says Dr. O’Hea. Amanda Macmillan,, "7 Things You Can and Can’t Do About Saggy Breasts," 20 Mar. 2018 Until the past few weeks, coach Kelly Graves said, UO's defensive focus would occasionally lag and its efficiency sag. Andrew Greif,, "Does Oregon have Final Four potential? Opposing coaches are believers," 19 Mar. 2018 The Balkan nation is prioritizing a controversial revamp of the court system just as its growth rate sags from the European Union’s fastest., "Romania Picked a Bad Time to Take Its Eye Off the Economy," 7 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sag.' 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 sag


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sag


Middle English saggen; akin to Middle Low German sacken to sink, Norwegian dialect sakka

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Statistics for sag

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sag

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

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More Definitions for sag



English Language Learners Definition of sag

: to bend or hang down in the middle especially because of weight or weakness

: to become weaker or fewer


\ˈsag \
sagged; sagging

Kids Definition of sag

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to sink, settle, or hang below the natural or right level The roof sags in the middle.

2 : to become less firm or strong As all our efforts failed, our spirits sagged.



Kids Definition of sag (Entry 2 of 2)

: a part or area that sinks or hangs below the natural or right level

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Comments on sag

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