\ 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 And many Democrats were frustrated by the governor’s zigs and zags on the bill to impose new oversight of medical vaccine exemptions for California school children. Los Angeles Times, "News Analysis: California’s Legislature tackled big issues in 2019. Bigger fights might be coming," 16 Sep. 2019 Even successful careers in basketball can usually be traced in zigs and zags, bouncing off contextual factors and natural limitations. Rob Mahoney,, "Top 100 NBA Players of 2020," 12 Sep. 2019 This is a place for a couple to hunker down—the Airbnb's only bedroom is set beneath the zig-zag of stairs leading to the apartment above, with a surprisingly large ensuite bathroom. Rick Jordan, Condé Nast Traveler, "My Favorite Airbnb in Edinburgh: A Minimalist Haven in Old Town," 6 Sep. 2019 What makes the movie more than a clever parlor trick is that every narrative zig and zag turns out to be motivated by an underlying moral logic, a belief in some semblance of law and order in a world of unfettered criminality. Los Angeles Times, "Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,’ the haunting work of a filmmaker running out of time," 26 July 2019 Indeed, what was once a stark-white corner storefront is now ornamented with boxwood topiaries and a zig-zag pattern—borrowed from the regimental tie of the Royal Artillery—covers the exterior awnings and the interior floors and walls. Zachary Weiss, Vogue, "At the New Rowing Blazers Flagship, a Champagne-Fueled House Party Raged," 3 May 2019 Quarterback Ryan Agnew impressively gave chase for 75 yards and seemed to be closing the gap before Hawkins shook him with a zig-zag maneuver 10 yards from the end zone. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Aztecs offense has its struggles in first fall scrimmage," 11 Aug. 2019 Watching a balloon zag instead of zig, Sal Candido often feels like Dr. John H. Watson observing Sherlock Holmes. Alex Davies, WIRED, "How Loon's Balloons Find Their Way to Deliver the Internet," 23 July 2019 Martin ran a zig-zag path to evade the bullets and escaped. Andrew Selsky, The Seattle Times, "New push for justice after 4 Dutch journalists slain in 1982," 25 Mar. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 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

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

12 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for zag

The first known use of zag was in 1793

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for zag

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with zag

Comments on zag

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


to engage in dissolute behavior

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