\ 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

droop, flag, hang, loll, swag, wilt

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

Their offense is sagging; the loss of Miguel Cabrera will eventually take its toll. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers three observations: Ron Gardenhire won't sweat critics," 21 June 2018 Others sought safety in Treasury bonds, which have seen yields sag under rising demand in recent months. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "The Battered Bull Market Is Limping Into 2019," 2 Jan. 2019 LeBron James’ move to Los Angeles is expected to have more than just an impact on the Lakers — a once-dominant team that has sagged in recent years. Sarah Gray, Fortune, "Why LeBron James' Move to Los Angeles Could Boost the City's Economy," 3 July 2018 Keep core engaged so hips don’t sag and stop when your elbows reach 90-degrees. Straighten arms to return to the high plank position, then walk hands back to your feet, and stand to complete the exercise. SELF, "Squat and Plank Full-Body Workout," 31 Dec. 2018 Hard to overstate the importance of the Huskies’ Sept. 1 opener vs. Auburn — a win in Atlanta not only cements UW as a playoff contender but also would restore some of the Pac-12’s sagging credibility. Adam Jude, The Seattle Times, "Pac-12 preseason picks: Can UW Huskies reclaim conference crown?," 23 July 2018 Their quiet and hurried actions contrasted with the look of them: a team of burly men with bushy eyebrows and sagging jowls wearing loud orange vests, worn jeans, heavy black shoes and yellow hardhats. Chicago Tribune,, "Algren Award runner-up: "Here Is Where the Taxi Driver Set His Wife on Fire" by GKS Waller," 2 June 2018 Experts say buyers are trying to avoid risk in a politically tense environment, but signs that industrial demand is sagging could create a drag on shipping. Paul Page, WSJ, "Today’s Logistics Report: Exports Pull Back; Brexit’s Inventory Build; Getting Coffee to Go," 14 Dec. 2018 In the nation’s multi-state blackout of August 2003, the outage affecting 55 million Americans from Michigan to New England began when a hot transmission line sagged into a tree limb outside Akron, Ohio. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "History of power outages riles metro Detroiters, DTE promises fixes," 28 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

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Statistics for sag

Last Updated

9 Feb 2019

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

Comments on sag

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