a sharp projection on an edge or surface.

verb (used with object), jagged, jag·ging.

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.

to move with a jerk; jog.

Origin of jag

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




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

Origin of jag

1590–1600; perhaps orig. load of broom or furze (compare Old English ceacga broom, furze)


or JAG

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

Examples from the Web for jag

Contemporary Examples of jag

Historical Examples of jag

  • Yes—I suppose when I told you the truth, it must have been a bit of a jag for you.

    The White Lie

    William Le Queux

  • Apparently he has been on the jag all the week, and to-day's booze finished him off.

    The Green Rust

    Edgar Wallace

  • He had set his mind on a “jag” of the worst description—to drink and forget.

    Colorado Jim

    George Goodchild

  • They had a little "jag" of meal in a bag, a piece of sidemeat, and a half-dozen chickens.

  • But what can they do when they find a bloke paradin' the streets with a jag on?

British Dictionary definitions for jag




verb jags, jagging or jagged

(tr) to cut unevenly; make jagged
Australian to catch (fish) by impaling them on an unbaited hook

noun, verb

Scot an informal word for jab (def. 3), jab (def. 5)


a jagged notch or projection

Word Origin for jag

C14: of unknown origin



noun slang

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

Word Origin for jag

of unknown origin



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


abbreviation for

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 jag

"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