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  1. a sharp projection on an edge or surface.
verb (used with object), jagged, jag·ging.
  1. to cut or slash, especially in points or pendants along the edge; form notches, teeth, or ragged points in.
verb (used without object), jagged, jag·ging.
  1. to move with a jerk; jog.

Origin of jag1

1350–1400; late Middle English jagge (noun), jaggen (v.), of obscure origin
Related formsjag·less, adjective


  1. a period of unrestrained indulgence in an activity; spree; binge: a crying jag; a talking jag.
  2. a state of intoxication from liquor.
  3. Northern, North Midland, and Western U.S. a load, as of hay or wood.

Origin of jag2

1590–1600; perhaps orig. load of broom or furze (compare Old English ceacga broom, furze)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for jags



verb jags, jagging or jagged
  1. (tr) to cut unevenly; make jagged
  2. Australian to catch (fish) by impaling them on an unbaited hook
noun, verb
  1. Scot an informal word for jab (def. 3), jab (def. 5)
  1. a jagged notch or projection

Word Origin

C14: of unknown origin


noun slang
    1. intoxication from drugs or alcohol
    2. a bout of drinking or drug taking
  1. a period of uncontrolled activitya crying jag

Word Origin

of unknown origin


  1. informal a Jaguar car: often understood as a symbol of affluence


abbreviation for
  1. Judge Advocate General
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

Word Origin and History for jags



"period of unrestrained activity," 1887, American English, perhaps via intermediate sense of "as much drink as a man can hold" (1670s), from earlier meaning "load of hay or wood" (1590s), of unknown origin. Used in U.S. colloquial speech from 1834 to mean "a quantity, a lot."



"slash or rend in a garment," c.1400, of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper