\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

Incidental sun exposure—the kind experienced on a daily commute—has a cumulative effect that results in fine lines and sagging skin. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Here's Why You Need Sunscreen This Winter—and the Best Formulas to Buy Now," 15 Oct. 2018 Its featherlight formula is silky in texture and seeps into skin almost immediately on contact to help lift sagging eyelids. Sarah Kinonen, Allure, "Perricone MD Launches Essential Fx Skin-Care Line With Vitamin F," 9 Aug. 2018 The final act is a listless shamble toward vague transcendence, with Parsifal bathed in light as the knights — sagging flesh safely covered — slowly spin in place, a Baselitz starburst looming over everything. Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, "Review: A Conductor Sets Munich’s Ashen ‘Parsifal’ Aflame," 1 July 2018 Back in 2015, the youth council spent time studying whether Gary should enact an ordinance allowing police to issue tickets and fines to people who let their pants sag below the waistline. Gregory Tejeda, Post-Tribune, "Gary introduces new members of city's Youth Council," 17 May 2018 Skies are mostly cloudy as a cold front slowly sags its way through, with the chance for a few sprinkles or a light shower. Brian Jackson, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Still on the mild side today, then a little wet snow possible late tonight," 1 Apr. 2018 To bolster sagging gambling revenues, operators of the casino bought the River Ridge trailer park near Rabbit Hash to put in the landing. Melissa Reinert,, "Ferry from Rabbit Hash to Rising Sun to be christened this Thursday," 9 July 2018 In a speech, Mr. Carney said that a trade war would have direct costs to the global economy through reduced trade as well as indirect costs ranging from weaker business and consumer confidence to higher inflation and sagging productivity growth. Jason Douglas, WSJ, "Trade War Could Knock Global Growth, Says Bank of England Governor," 5 July 2018 Unruly trees pay the barriers no mind, stretching defiantly into the water, their sagging branches capturing a flotilla of plastic bags and beer cans. Patrick M. O'connell,, "A 'wild mile' on the Chicago River? It might be closer than you think," 22 June 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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Dictionary Entries near sag

safrano pink







Statistics for sag

Last Updated

30 Nov 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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More from Merriam-Webster on sag

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sag

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sag

Spanish Central: Translation of sag

Nglish: Translation of sag for Spanish Speakers

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