Origin of brag

1350–1400; Middle English brag (noun) ostentation, arrogance, braggen (v.); of obscure origin
Related formsbrag·ging·ly, adverbbrag·less, adjectiveout·brag, verb (used with object), out·bragged, out·brag·ging.o·ver·brag, verb, o·ver·bragged, o·ver·brag·ging.un·brag·ging, adjective

Synonym study

1. See boast1.

Antonyms for brag

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for brag

Contemporary Examples of brag

Historical Examples of brag

  • Why should we brag of being American or English, when we can boast that we are men?

    The Field of Ice

    Jules Verne

  • Think I'm so proud of this night's cruise that I'll brag of it?

    The Woman-Haters

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • "I know that some of those who have them brag about them," said Jimmy.

    Mixed Faces

    Roy Norton

  • His brag was that he had skipped every fight since he enlisted.

    War from the Inside

    Frederick L. (Frederick Lyman) Hitchcock

  • He's always goin' about asking every one, 'Can't they make a game o' brag?'

    One Of Them

    Charles James Lever

British Dictionary definitions for brag


verb brags, bragging or bragged

to speak of (one's own achievements, possessions, etc) arrogantly and boastfully


boastful talk or behaviour, or an instance of this
something boasted ofhis brag was his new car
a braggart; boaster
a card game: an old form of poker
Derived Formsbragger, nounbragging, noun, adjectivebraggingly, adverb

Word Origin for brag

C13: of unknown origin
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 brag

mid-14c., braggen "to make a loud sound," also "to talk boastfully," of obscure origin, perhaps related to bray of a trumpet, or related to the Middle English adjective brag "ostentatious, proud; spirited, brave" (early 14c.), which probably is from Celtic. Other sources suggest Old Norse bragr "the best, the toast (of anything)," also "poetry." Also cf. braggart for another possibility. Related: Bragged; bragging.


late 14c., "pomp; arrogance, pride;" see brag (v.); the exact relationship of the forms is uncertain. Meaning "that which is boasted" is from 1530s. As a once-popular poker-like card game, from 1734.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper