- to fail to maintain a desired pace or to keep up; fall or stay behind: After five minutes of hard running, some of them began to lag.
- to move or develop slowly, as toward a goal or objective, or in relation to an associated factor (often followed by behind): to lag behind in production.
- to delay or fail in reaching full development: The factory lags regularly in making its quota.
- to hang back; linger; delay: The old friends lagged because they wanted to talk some more.
- to decrease, wane, or flag gradually, as in intensity: Interest lagged as the meeting went on.
- Marbles. to throw one's shooting marble toward a line (lag line) on the ground in order to decide on the order of play.
- Billiards, Pool. string(def 17b).
- to fail to keep up with: The industry still lags the national economy.
- Obsolete. to cause to lag.
- a lagging or falling behind; retardation.
- a person who lags behind, is the last to arrive, etc.
- an interval or lapse of time: There was a developmental lag in the diffusion of ideas.
- Mechanics. the amount of retardation of some motion.
- Electricity. the retardation of one alternating quantity, as current, with respect to another related alternating quantity, as voltage, often expressed in degrees.
- Marbles, Billiards. the act of lagging.
Origin of lag1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for lag on Thesaurus.com
- to send to penal servitude; imprison.
- a convict or ex-convict.
- a period or term of penal servitude; prison sentence.
Origin of lag2
- one of the staves or strips that form the periphery of a wooden drum, the casing of a steam cylinder, or the like.
- Masonry. a crosspiece between ribs in a centering.
- to line or cover (an excavation) with lagging.
- to cover with insulation, as a steam boiler, to prevent radiation of heat.
Origin of lag3
Examples from the Web for lag
Why does the U.S. lag behind our peers when it comes to educating our students?Why the World Is Smarter Than Us
August 9, 2013
The lag in jobs has been matched by a lack of new investments.The Sprawling, Dimming Age of Obama
June 30, 2013
There was some lag time in the middle because of Hurricane Iniki.‘Jurassic Park’ Turns 20: Film Memories With Ariana Richards
April 6, 2013
Women of color report median incomes that lag even further behind.Census Data Reveals Elder Women’s Poverty Crisis
March 28, 2012
But outside Washington spin rooms, a question emerges: is a 1,000-day lag since the last budget such a terrible thing?Does Congress’s Budget Delay Actually Matter?
February 2, 2012
Put on your hat, friend, and follow us, for you lag behind and are late.Barnaby Rudge
Neither anticipate your years, nor lag child-like behind them.The Book of Khalid
Holes are provided in the Press for mounting by lag screws or bolts.The Automobile Storage Battery
O. A. Witte
I followed them at first, then began to lag with an odd unwillingness.Disowned
The book was begun in February and finished in April, so the work did not lag.Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete
Albert Bigelow Paine
- (often foll by behind) to hang (back) or fall (behind) in movement, progress, development, etc
- to fall away in strength or intensity
- to determine an order of play in certain games, as by rolling marbles towards a line or, in billiards, hitting cue balls up the table against the top cushion in an attempt to bring them back close to the headrail
- the act or state of slowing down or falling behind
- the interval of time between two events, esp between an action and its effect
- an act of lagging in a game, such as billiards
- a convict or ex-convict (esp in the phrase old lag)
- a term of imprisonment
- (tr) to arrest or put in prison
- (tr) to cover (a pipe, cylinder, etc) with lagging to prevent loss of heat
- the insulating casing of a steam cylinder, boiler, etc; lagging
- a stave or lath
Word Origin and History for lag
"fail to keep pace," 1520s, earlier as a noun meaning "last person" (1510s), later also as an adjective (1550s; e.g. lag-mon "last man"), all of uncertain relationship, possibly from a Scandinavian source (cf. Norwegian lagga "go slowly"), or some dialectal version of last, lack, or delay. Related: Lag; lagging. The noun meaning "retardation" is from 1855. First record of lag time is from 1951.