Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[drag] /dræg/
verb (used with object), dragged, dragging.
to draw with force, effort, or difficulty; pull heavily or slowly along; haul; trail:
They dragged the carpet out of the house.
to search with a drag, grapnel, or the like:
They dragged the lake for the body of the missing man.
to level and smooth (land) with a drag or harrow.
to introduce; inject; insert:
He drags his honorary degree into every discussion.
to protract (something) or pass (time) tediously or painfully (often followed by out or on):
They dragged the discussion out for three hours.
to pull (a graphical image) from one place to another on a computer display screen, especially by using a mouse.
verb (used without object), dragged, dragging.
to be drawn or hauled along.
to trail on the ground.
to move heavily or with effort.
to proceed or pass with tedious slowness:
The parade dragged by endlessly.
to feel listless or apathetic; move listlessly or apathetically (often followed by around):
This heat wave has everyone dragging around.
to lag behind.
to use a drag or grapnel; dredge.
to take part in a drag race.
to take a puff:
to drag on a cigarette.
  1. a designed increase of draft toward the stern of a vessel.
  2. resistance to the movement of a hull through the water.
  3. any of a number of weights dragged cumulatively by a vessel sliding down ways to check its speed.
  4. any object dragged in the water, as a sea anchor.
  5. any device for dragging the bottom of a body of water to recover or detect objects.
Agriculture. a heavy wooden or steel frame drawn over the ground to smooth it.
Slang. someone or something tedious; a bore:
It's a drag having to read this old novel.
a stout sledge or sled.
Aeronautics. the aerodynamic force exerted on an airfoil, airplane, or other aerodynamic body that tends to reduce its forward motion.
a four-horse sporting and passenger coach with seats inside and on top.
a metal shoe to receive a wheel of heavy wagons and serve as a brake on steep grades.
something that retards progress.
an act of dragging.
slow, laborious movement or procedure; retardation.
a puff or inhalation on a cigarette, pipe, etc.
  1. the scent left by a fox or other animal.
  2. something, as aniseed, dragged over the ground to leave an artificial scent.
  3. Also called drag hunt. a hunt, especially a fox hunt, in which the hounds follow an artificial scent.
  1. a brake on a fishing reel.
  2. the sideways pull on a fishline, as caused by a crosscurrent.
clothing characteristically associated with one sex when worn by a person of the opposite sex:
a Mardi Gras ball at which many of the dancers were in drag.
clothing characteristic of a particular occupation or milieu:
Two guests showed up in gangster drag.
Also called comb. Masonry. a steel plate with a serrated edge for dressing a stone surface.
Metallurgy. the lower part of a flask.
Compare cope2 (def 5).
Slang. influence:
He claims he has drag with his senator.
Slang. a girl or woman that one is escorting; date.
Informal. a street or thoroughfare, especially a main street of a town or city.
a drag race.
Eastern New England. a sledge, as for carrying stones from a field.
marked by or involving the wearing of clothing characteristically associated with the opposite sex; transvestite.
drag one's feet / heels, to act with reluctance; delay:
The committee is dragging its feet coming to a decision.
Origin of drag
1350-1400; 1920-25 for def 18; Middle English; both noun and v. probably < Middle Low German dragge grapnel, draggen to dredge, derivative of drag- draw; defs 29, 30, 38 obscurely related to other senses and perhaps a distinct word of independent orig.
Related forms
outdrag, verb (used with object), outdragged, outdragging.
12. linger, loiter.
Synonym Study
1. See draw. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for drag
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We can only crawl along, having to walk and lead the horses, or at least drag them.

  • But he would dash out after her, seize her round the body, drag her back into the shop.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • I caught him by the collar, too; and had to drag him in very much in the way I had done with Lewis.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • Nothing would do, but to go up into his lair, and drag him out.

    Welsh Fairy Tales William Elliott Griffis
  • It is a pity to drag these poor chaps about from one ambulance to another.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
British Dictionary definitions for drag


verb drags, dragging, dragged
to pull or be pulled with force, esp along the ground or other surface
(transitive; often foll by away or from) to persuade to come away (from something attractive or interesting): he couldn't drag himself away from the shop
to trail or cause to trail on the ground
(transitive) to move (oneself, one's feet, etc) with effort or difficulty: he drags himself out of bed at dawn
to linger behind
often foll by on or out. to prolong or be prolonged tediously or unnecessarily: his talk dragged on for hours
(transitive) foll by out. to pass (time) in discomfort, poverty, unhappiness, etc: he dragged out his few remaining years
when intr, usually foll by for. to search (the bed of a river, canal, etc) with a dragnet or hook: they dragged the river for the body
(transitive foll by out or from) to crush (clods) or level (a soil surface) by use of a drag
(of hounds) to follow (a fox or its trail) to the place where it has been lying
(intransitive) (slang) to draw (on a cigarette, pipe, etc)
(computing) to move (data) from one place to another on the screen by manipulating a mouse with its button held down
drag anchor, (of a vessel) to move away from its mooring because the anchor has failed to hold
(informal) drag one's feet, drag one's heels, to act with deliberate slowness
drag someone's name in the mud, to disgrace or defame someone
the act of dragging or the state of being dragged
an implement, such as a dragnet, dredge, etc, used for dragging
Also called drag harrow. a type of harrow consisting of heavy beams, often with spikes inserted, used to crush clods, level soil, or prepare seedbeds
a sporting coach with seats inside and out, usually drawn by four horses
a braking or retarding device, such as a metal piece fitted to the underside of the wheel of a horse-drawn vehicle
a person or thing that slows up progress
slow progress or movement
(aeronautics) the resistance to the motion of a body passing through a fluid, esp through air: applied to an aircraft in flight, it is the component of the resultant aerodynamic force measured parallel to the direction of air flow
the trail of scent left by a fox or other animal hunted with hounds
an artificial trail of a strong-smelling substance, sometimes including aniseed, drawn over the ground for hounds to follow
See drag hunt
(angling) unnatural movement imparted to a fly, esp a dry fly, by tension on the angler's line
(informal) a person or thing that is very tedious; bore: exams are a drag
(slang) a car
short for drag race
  1. women's clothes worn by a man, usually by a transvestite (esp in the phrase in drag)
  2. (as modifier): a drag club, drag show
  3. clothes collectively
(informal) a draw on a cigarette, pipe, etc
(US, slang) influence or persuasive power
(mainly US, slang) a street or road
Word Origin
Old English dragan to draw; related to Swedish dragga
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for drag

mid-15c., from Old Norse draga, or a dialectal variant of Old English dragan "to draw," both ultimately from Proto-Germanic *dragan "to draw, pull," from PIE root *dhragh- "to draw, drag on the ground" (cf. Sanskrit dhrajati "pulls, slides in," Russian drogi "wagon;" but not considered to be directly the source of Latin trahere).

Meaning "to take a puff" (of a cigarette, etc.) is from 1914. Related: Dragged; dragging. Drag-out "violent fight" is from c.1859. To drag (one's) feet (1946, in figurative sense) supposedly is from logging, from a lazy way to use a two-man saw.


c.1300, "dragnet," perhaps from a Scandinavian source (cf. Swedish dragg "grapnel") or from Old English dræge "dragnet," related to dragan "to draw" (see drag (v.)).

Sense of "annoying, boring person or thing" is 1813, perhaps from the notion of something that must be dragged as an impediment. Sense of "women's clothing worn by a man" is said to be 1870 theater slang, from the sensation of long skirts trailing on the floor (another guess is Yiddish trogn "to wear," from German tragen); drag queen is from 1941.

Drag racing (1947), is said to be from thieves' slang drag "automobile" (1935), perhaps ultimately from slang sense of "wagon, buggy" (1755), because a horse would drag it. By 1851 this was transferred to "street," as in the phrase main drag (which some propose as the source of the racing sense).

In addition to the time trials there are a number of "drag races" between two or more cars. They are run, not for record, but to satisfy the desire of most Americans to see who can get from here to there in the fastest time. ["Popular Mechanics," January 1947]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
drag in Science
A force acting on a moving body, opposite in direction to the movement of the body, caused by the interaction of the body and the medium it moves through. The strength of drag usually depends on the velocity of the body. ◇ Drag caused by buildup of pressure in front of the moving body and a decrease in pressure behind the body is called pressure drag. It is an important factor in the design of aerodynamically efficient shapes for cars and airplanes. ◇ Drag caused by the viscosity of the medium as the molecules along the body's surface move through it is called skin drag or skin friction. It is an important factor in the design of efficient surface materials for cars, airplanes, boat hulls, skis, and swimsuits. Compare lift. See Note at aerodynamics.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for drag



  1. : a drag queen/ drag party
  2. : Take the quiz and unearth your drag quotient


  1. Influence; weight; clout, pull: We had a big drag with the waiter (1896+)
  2. A street: from some bo on the drag I managed to learn (1851+)
  3. An inhalation of smoke; puff; toke: The ponies took last drags at their cigarettes and slumped into place (1914+)
  4. A cigarette; butt: a drag smoking on your lip (1940s+)
  5. (also drag party) A party or gathering, usually of homosexuals, where everyone wears clothing of the other sex; a clustering of transvestites (1920s+ Homosexuals)
  6. Clothing worn by someone of the sex for which the clothing was not intended; transvestite costume, esp women's clothing worn by a man: We shall come in drag, which means wearing women's costumes/ Mother walked in, a little Prussian officer in drag (1870+ Homosexuals)
  7. drag race
  8. A roll of money, purse, etc, used to lure the victim in a confidence game (Police)
  9. A situation, occupation, event, etc, that is tedious and trying; downer: Life can be such a drag one minute and a solid sender the next/ Keeping things at the cleaners was sometimes a last-minute drag (1940s+ Jazz musicians)
  10. A dull, boring person: Don't ask John to the party; he's such a drag (1940s+)


  1. : dragging on cigars and feeling grown up (1919+)
  2. To race down a straightaway (1950s+ Hot rodders)
  3. To move an image, a file designation, etc, or expand a designated menu on the computer screen by using the mouse: I copied the whole file onto a floppy disk, dragged the original file into the electronic trash can (1980s+ Computer)

Related Terms

main drag

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with drag
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for drag

Difficulty index for drag

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for drag

Scrabble Words With Friends