extremely tired or slow, as in movement; lethargic; sluggish: He was annoyed by their dragging way of walking and talking.
used in dragging, hoisting, etc.: dragging ropes.

Nearby words

  1. drag rake,
  2. drag sail,
  3. drag strip,
  4. drag up,
  5. dragger,
  6. dragging piece,
  7. draggingly,
  8. draggle,
  9. draggle-tail,
  10. draggle-tailed

Origin of dragging

First recorded in 1765–75; drag + -ing2

Related formsdrag·ging·ly, adverb



verb (used with object), dragged, drag·ging.

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, drag·ging.

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.

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 formsout·drag, verb (used with object), out·dragged, out·drag·ging.

Synonym study

1. See draw.

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

Examples from the Web for dragging

British Dictionary definitions for dragging



a decorating technique in which paint is applied with a specially modified brush to create a marbled or grainy effect


verb drags, dragging or dragged

to pull or be pulled with force, esp along the ground or other surface
(tr; 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
(tr) to move (oneself, one's feet, etc) with effort or difficultyhe drags himself out of bed at dawn
to linger behind
(often foll by on or out) to prolong or be prolonged tediously or unnecessarilyhis talk dragged on for hours
(tr foll by out) to pass (time) in discomfort, poverty, unhappiness, etche 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 hookthey dragged the river for the body
(tr 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
(intr) 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
drag one's feet or drag one's heels informal 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
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; boreexams 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 for drag

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

Word Origin and History for dragging
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for dragging



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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with dragging


In addition to the idioms beginning with drag

  • drag in
  • drag on
  • drag one's ass
  • drag one's feet
  • drag queen

also see:

  • a drag
  • in drag
  • look like something the cat dragged in
  • main drag
  • wild horses wouldn't drag me
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.