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See more synonyms for chug on Thesaurus.com
  1. a short, dull, explosive sound: the steady chug of an engine.
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verb (used without object), chugged, chug·ging.
  1. to make this sound: The motor chugged.
  2. to move while making this sound: The train chugged along.
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Origin of chug1

An Americanism dating back to 1865–70; imitative
Related formschug·ger, noun


verb (used with object), chugged, chug·ging.
  1. chug-a-lug.
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verb (used without object), chugged, chug·ging.
  1. to drink something in large gulps: to chug on a bottle of beer.
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  1. a large gulp or swallow: He finished his beer in two chugs.
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Origin of chug2

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

down, chug-a-lug

Examples from the Web for chugged

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • On chugged the motor boat, and soon it was alongside the sailboat.

  • The Gem chugged her way up "Alligator Brook," as the girls had named it.

  • Three times they flashed the message, then hurried back to the boat and chugged out, anchoring140 in midstream.

    Tom Slade at Temple Camp

    Percy K. Fitzhugh

  • He giggled to himself and chugged his coffee, crouched down below the window.


    Cory Doctorow

  • Thus many a time when it chugged out of his barn so proudly, it came limping back behind a span of mules.

    In the Heart of a Fool

    William Allen White

British Dictionary definitions for chugged


  1. a short dull sound, esp one that is rapidly repeated, such as that made by an engine
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verb chugs, chugging or chugged
  1. (intr) (of an engine, etc) to operate while making such sounds
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Word Origin

C19: of imitative 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 chugged



1866, echoic of a working steam engine. As a verb, from 1884. Related: Chugged; chugging. Drinking sense attested by 1940s (chug-a-lug), probably imitative of the sound of swallowing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper