\ ˈstag How to pronounce stag (audio) \
plural stags

Definition of stag

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 or plural stag : an adult male red deer also : the male of various other deer (especially genus Cervus)
2 chiefly Scotland : a young horse especially : a young unbroken stallion
3 : a male animal castrated after sexual maturity — compare steer sense 1
4 : a young adult male domestic chicken or turkey
5a : a social gathering of men only
b : one who attends a dance or party without a companion


stagged; stagging

Definition of stag (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to spy on

intransitive verb

: to attend a dance or party without a companion



Definition of stag (Entry 3 of 3)

1a : restricted to men a stag party
b : intended for a male audience especially : pornographic stag movies
2 : unaccompanied by someone of the opposite sex stag women

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from stag


stag adverb

Examples of stag in a Sentence


a stash of stag flicks that were hidden in the basement

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

La Salle High School will celebrate its 34th annual stag with featured speaker Rollie Fingers, as well as Bronson Arroyo. James Weber,, "Hall of Fame lineup on tap for high school sports stags/dinners," 18 Jan. 2018 Country pursuits on such properties commonly include pheasant, grouse or partridge shoots, salmon fishing and stalking (crawling on rough, damp terrain under the guidance of a ghillie, or young helper, to shoot stags marked for culling). Cathy Newman, WSJ, "A Chic Scottish Sojourn Among the Manors," 7 Dec. 2018 Bachelorette parties tend to be larger than stags, says Lauren Kay, deputy editor of The Knot, a wedding-information website. Jennifer Levitz, WSJ, "The Bachelorette Party’s Over: Venues Snub Bridezillas and Their Entourages," 27 July 2018 Working together a group can cooperate to take down a stag—but only if everyone is committed. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Low-caste men in India cooperate like college students," 7 Nov. 2018 Amsterdam, Netherlands Contrary to some people’s vision of the Dutch city, Amsterdam isn’t all roaming packs of British stag parties and college-aged tourists. Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Cities in the World: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 2018 If someone spots a hare and decides to go after it, the stag escapes and everyone else ends up hungry. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Low-caste men in India cooperate like college students," 7 Nov. 2018 The two stags were evenly matched, with no clear cut winner. Fox News, "Deer fight goes viral after images of stags locked in battle emerge," 21 Sep. 2018 The night Donna was attacked, Regan’s first cousin held a stag party for his friends. Ruth Padawer, New York Times, "Should Statutes of Limitations for Rape Be Abolished?," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stag.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of stag


12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1796, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


1843, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for stag


Middle English stagge, from Old English stagga; akin to Old Norse andarsteggi drake


stag (informer)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stag

Statistics for stag

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stag

The first known use of stag was in the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stag



English Language Learners Definition of stag

: an adult male deer


\ ˈstag How to pronounce stag (audio) \

Kids Definition of stag

: an adult male deer

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on stag

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stag

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stag

Spanish Central: Translation of stag

Nglish: Translation of stag for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stag for Arabic Speakers

Comments on stag

What made you want to look up stag? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a shady place in a garden or forest

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!