\ ˈzag How to pronounce zag (audio) \

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

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of zag in a Sentence

Verb 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 zig-zag path of the Blue Angels covered much of Dallas and Tarrant counties, allowing the jets to fly low over many of the area’s hospitals, including at least three in Arlington. Dallas News, "‘Every little thing helps’ as Arlington hospital workers take a break for Blue Angels flyover," 6 May 2020 The guidelines recommend that people minimize time spent in restaurants and cafes, sit at least 1 meter from other patrons, and sit in a row or in a zig-zag to avoid directly facing each other. Mary Hui, Quartz, "South Korea’s plan for the “new normal” shows that social distancing is here to stay," 23 Apr. 2020 Rearranging lunch tables so students sit in a zig zag rather that adjacent to each other is also being taken into consideration. NBC News, "South Korea's return to normal interrupted by uptick in coronavirus cases," 17 Mar. 2020 Yet the line has too many zigs and zags and ups and downs to clinch a causal connection. Andrew Ferguson, The Atlantic, "Abraham Lincoln’s Radical Moderation," 12 Mar. 2020 Those risky investments usually take the form of stocks, which zig, zag, and occasionally crash. Khe Hy, Quartz, "The one number that determines if you can retire today," 3 Mar. 2020 Even if everything else is neutral, a statement rug can completely transform the room—from the bright green BREDEVAD with a zig-zag pattern, to the burgundy VEDBÄK with a traditional floral print, to the pastel-striped SOMMAR 2020. Jessica Dailey, House Beautiful, "How to Use Color to Breathe New Life Into Your Kitchen," 3 Apr. 2020 There also would be a planter bed installed at Downer Place to match a rain garden recently built at the Galena Boulevard end, and zig-zag white lights installed the length of the mall, about 20 feet off the ground. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora panel recommends renovations for Water Street Mall," 28 Mar. 2018 The first, more common on lighter artwork, is a metal piece with a zig-zag bottom, and the second is two rings attached to the sides of the artwork, designed for a wire to run between. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "How to Hang a Picture Like a Professional," 21 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ellie Richard’s brooms have handles that zig and zag into myriad nonfunctional forms. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, "In the galleries: Animator finds playful inspiration on both sides of the border," 11 Oct. 2019 Thinking outside the box, knowing when to zig, and when to zag. Los Angeles Times, "Racing! Omaha Beach wows in return," 6 Oct. 2019 This is not to say that Gruden’s path is wrong — there’s room to zag when the rest of the league zigs. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, "Kurtenbach: Jon Gruden’s not adjusting, and that’s a big issue for the Raiders," 19 Sep. 2019 Vogueworld Emily Ratajkowski’s Latest Look Takes a Cue from the Olsen Twins Actress, model and Instagram queen Emily Ratajkowski knows how to effortlessly zig-zag the best of summer style. Vogue, "Emily Ratajkowski’s Latest Look Takes a Cue from the Olsen Twins," 20 Aug. 2019 Sometimes saving money and steering clear of lines is all about zigging when other people zag. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "A Reminder: Always Buy Gas on Mondays," 9 Apr. 2019 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

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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Last Updated

10 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Zag.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2020.

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