nag

1 of 3

verb

nagged; nagging

transitive verb

1
: to irritate by constant scolding or urging
2

intransitive verb

1
: to find fault incessantly : complain
2
: to be a persistent source of annoyance or distraction
nagger noun

nag

2 of 3

noun (1)

: one who nags habitually

nag

3 of 3

noun (2)

: horse
especially : one that is old or in poor condition

Examples of nag in a Sentence

Verb Mom's always nagging me about my hair. All you ever do is nag. My parents are always nagging me to clean my room. He kept nagging her until she agreed to see the movie. Quit nagging! I already said I'm not going.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
While these trips soothed my anxiety, guilt nagged at me about hoarding another resource: cash. Emi Nietfeld, Washington Post, 23 Dec. 2023 Listen to yourself if something is nagging you or doesn't feel right and speak up. Taylyn Washington-Harmon, Health, 16 Dec. 2023 Garcia-Tolson’s family tried to support him as much as possible, but limitations nagged. Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Oct. 2023 Your iPhone will nag you to update your software when there are security fixes available. Shira Ovide, Washington Post, 13 Oct. 2023 Re: Vacation: I’m also constantly getting nagged, but traveling with my parents and in-laws is kind of awful and stressful. Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, 11 Sep. 2023 There was the player from Belarus who nagged him incessantly in the locker room; the Greek player who was notorious for not paying people who threw their matches at his request. Kevin Sieff, Washington Post, 7 Sep. 2023 Oblique injuries can nag and return dates are hard to predict. Jason Williams, The Enquirer, 30 Aug. 2023 Such on-the-street analysis could help untangle one of the questions that has nagged researchers and L.A. County officials: Whether the growing number of overdoses involving more than one drug is due to people mistakenly consuming something or to intentionally mingling drugs. Emily Alpert Reyes, Los Angeles Times, 24 July 2023
Noun
And that the ever-insightful manager of a brilliant fund has spotted a better horse to ride while realizing a loss on a horse that turned out to be a nag. Scott Burns, Dallas News, 15 Jan. 2021 That archly strangled locution, the ceaseless scorn: the vendor’s voice nags at the former Dean Street boy. Rachel Cusk, Harper's Magazine, 27 Sep. 2023 Here again, a tonal dissonance nags: Encounters between Alex and his mother’s campaign team live in the satirical world of Veep, while his adventures at Buckingham Palace hew closer to Amanda Bynes in What A Girl Wants. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Aug. 2023 And why, a small voice nags at me, is my life not as interesting as this? Lance Richardson, Washington Post, 3 July 2023 Rogen: The wife is a nag, the guy is a lovable idiot. Yvonne Villarreal, Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2023 There’s Syril Karn (Kyle Soller), a lowly corporate security apparatchik with the pretensions of an Imperial officer and with simmering, repressed rage instilled by a tyrannical nag of a mother. David Klion, The New Republic, 1 Dec. 2022 But Helen is a controlling nag, while Emily acts like a bratty child. Dennis Harvey, Variety, 28 Jan. 2022 To a kid like Tony — whose own dad (Jon Bernthal) is a blunt distracted goon and whose mother (a mournful, putty-nosed Vera Farmiga) is a joyless nag — Dickie is everything: Suave, calm, charismatic. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, 21 Sep. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nag.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse nagga to moan, complain

Noun (2)

Middle English nagge; akin to Dutch negge small horse

First Known Use

Verb

circa 1828, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun (1)

1925, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nag was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near nag

Cite this Entry

“Nag.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nag. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

nag

1 of 3 noun
: horse entry 1 sense 1a
especially : a horse that is old and in poor condition

nag

2 of 3 verb
nagged; nagging
1
: to annoy by repeated faultfinding, scolding, or urging
kept nagging me to let her come
always nags him to clean his room
2
: to cause (someone) to feel annoyed or worried for a long period of time
a problem that nagged at her
nagger noun

nag

3 of 3 noun
: a person who frequently nags
Etymology

Noun

Middle English nagge "horse"

Verb

probably of Scandinavian origin

More from Merriam-Webster on nag

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