- 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 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
Related Wordsslow, slacken, wane, trail, decrease, falter, diminish, fail, shuffle, ebb, slouch, tarry, jelly, dawdle, procrastinate, poke, dillydally, idle, lounge, plod
Examples from the Web for lagged
The American art world has lagged far behind its British counterparts.Fotofest Brings Unprecedented Collection of Arab Photographic Art to U.S.
November 11, 2013
CBS has lagged in the morning ratings race since roughly the beginning of morning television.‘CBS This Morning’ Success Brings With It a Certain Swagger
July 22, 2013
There were those who lagged behind out of incomprehension, political calculation, or timidity.Clinton’s Take on Gay Marriage Today
March 27, 2013
His brother, an Islamic scholar, lagged him by two years and both ended up in Afghanistan.Al Qaeda’s Top Recruiting Tool: The CIA
February 20, 2013
Whether the media changed the culture or lagged it, they were not missing in action.In Between Mass Shootings, the Media Have Been MIA on Guns
December 17, 2012
The spring lagged on, accordingly, under these circumstances.The Doctor's Family
Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant
Jim lagged forlornly behind, and it was very anxiously we watched him.The Trail of '98
Robert W. Service
But for the moment, in his bodily weakness, his will lagged behind his brain.Fort Amity
Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
Silvey followed close at his heels and DuPree lagged in the rear.A Son of the City
Herman Gastrell Seely
And if I hadn't been with you to-night you'd have been lagged.Ambrotox and Limping Dick
- (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 lagged
"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.