verb (used with object), fagged, fag·ging.

verb (used without object), fagged, fag·ging.

Chiefly British. to work until wearied; work hard: to fag away at French.
British Informal. to do menial chores for an older public-school pupil.


Origin of fag

1425–75; late Middle English fagge broken thread in cloth, loose end (of obscure origin); sense development apparently: drooping end > to droop, tire > to make weary > drudgery, drudge (compare relationship of flag1 to flag3); (def 6) a shortening of fag end (a butt, hence a cigarette)
Related formsun·fagged, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fagged

Historical Examples of fagged

  • Fagged out as they obviously were they tried to smile at the reply one made.

    How I Filmed the War

    Lieut. Geoffrey H. Malins

  • Fagged as he was, the air was electric, and he had everything to see.

  • Fagged out and eager as she was, she had not come to the point of forgetting what a great forest-fire meant.

British Dictionary definitions for fagged




informal a boring or wearisome taskit's a fag having to walk all that way
British (esp formerly) a young public school boy who performs menial chores for an older boy or prefect

verb fags, fagging or fagged

(when tr, often foll by out) informal to become or cause to become exhausted by hard toil or work
(usually intr) British to do or cause to do menial chores in a public schoolBrown fags for Lee

Word Origin for fag

C18: of obscure origin




British a slang word for cigarette
a fag end, as of cloth

Word Origin for fag

C16 (in the sense: something hanging loose, flap): of obscure origin




slang, mainly US and Canadian short for faggot 2
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 fagged



"to droop, decline, tire," 1520s, apparently an alteration of flag (v.) in its sense of "droop." Transitive sense of "to make (someone or something) fatigued" is first attested 1826. Related: Fagged; fagging.



British slang for "cigarette" (originally, especially, the butt of a smoked cigarette), 1888, probably from fag-end "extreme end, loose piece" (1610s), from fag "loose piece" (late 15c.), which is perhaps related to fag (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper