\ˈzag \

Definition of zag 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : one of the sharp turns, angles, or alterations in a zigzag course

b : one of the short straight lines or sections of a zigzag course at an angle to a zig


zagged; zagging

Definition of zag (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to execute a zag usually contrasted with zig

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Synonyms & Antonyms for zag

Synonyms: Verb

break, cut, sheer, swerve, veer, yaw, zig

Antonyms: Verb


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Examples of zag in a Sentence


the crowd roared as the clown on the bicycle zagged while the other clowns, in hot pursuit, zigged

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Western Front ran about 450 miles, measured along its many zigs and zags, not as the crow flies, according to the U.S. Army Center of Military History. WSJ, "Archangel Endnotes," 9 Nov. 2018 The flowers themselves were a bright red and yellow, and Mara arranged them in a gentle zig-zag throughout Emma’s wavy hair, almost giving off a waterfall effect. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Emma Stone Attends "The Favourite" Premiere With Fresh Roses in Her Hair," 29 Sep. 2018 Instead, take black face paint and brush on zig-zag lines going from the top of your neck to your collar bone region. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "We Can't Get Enough of This Easy Vampire Makeup Tutorial for Halloween," 6 Sep. 2018 Drizzle Ginger soy sauce over top in a zig zag pattern. Claire Perez,, "Make your own fast-casual rice bowl," 20 Apr. 2018 And that’s not even factoring in the impossible-to-follow zig-zags of President Donald Trump, who has made hard-line immigration policy the cornerstone of his administration. Michael Smolens,, "Immigration reform seems impossible now ... and forever?," 1 July 2018 Poulin wears a zig-zag scar, ear to ear across the top of his head, but never thought of giving up either. Dom Amore,, "NCAA Baseball: UConn's P.J. Poulin, Chris Winkel Overcame Serious Head Injuries To Stay In The Game," 1 June 2018 When the rest of men’s fashion zigs, A$AP Rocky zags. Tyler Watamanuk, GQ, "A$AP Rocky Ditches Regular Ugly Sneakers for Gigantic Skate Shoes," 18 Apr. 2018 Turn up the heat with spicy cashews and a zig-zag of Sriracha mayo. Sarah Gish, kansascity, "Freestyle Poké: 5 things to know about River Market's popular Hawaiian-style cafe," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Where previous presidents zigged, the 45th almost always wants to zag. Philip Rucker And Seung Min Kim,, "'We have to pick a great one': Inside Trump's plan for a new Supreme Court justice," 1 July 2018 Oddsmakers have Docic as the favorite, but the odds of this downtrodden franchise zigging when everyone expects them to zag continues their trend of questionable personnel decisions. Peter Dawson, star-telegram, "NBA Mock Draft 5.0: Mavs get two picks in the top 5? Let us explain," 20 June 2018 Flavors zig and zag, taking unexpected detours — horse blanket? — but arrive at a joyful, rewarding destination. Peter Rowe,, "Is your favorite San Diego IPA part of our contest's Final Four?," 29 Mar. 2018 The gates on a slalom course are the closest together, requiring skiers to zig and zag quickly, making turns with rapid speed. Time, "Mikaela Shiffrin Is Going for Another Olympic Gold. Here's How the Alpine Skiing Events Differ," 15 Feb. 2018 Athletic director Gene Smith has been adamant that Holtmann was always his guy, even the timing of things was weird and the process seemed to zig and zag a bit. Bill Landis,, "Chris Holtmann showing he is the right guy for Ohio State: Buckeyes basketball analysis," 8 Jan. 2018 The zig-zag approach to net neutrality is a byproduct of the fact that the FCC is an independent agency; its levers over industry change hands every time a new party takes the White House. Brian Fung,, "The never ending battle over net neutrality is far from over. Here's what's coming next," 15 Dec. 2017 Trump revels in the upsetting of expectations, zigging when everyone else expected him to zag. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "Trump is trolling conservatives. Here are 4 theories why," 14 Sep. 2017 That’s not ideal, exactly; the best knuckleballs often zig and zag away from the mitt. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "Jim Bouton, Author and Former Pitcher, Struggles With Brain Disease," 1 July 2017

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


1793, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1900, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for zag



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Statistics for zag

Last Updated

23 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for zag

The first known use of zag was in 1793

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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