- the act of falling or staying behind.
- lingering; loitering; slow and dragging: lagging steps.
Origin of lagging1
- the act of covering a boiler, oil tank, etc., with heat-insulating material.
- the covering formed.
- the material used.
- a number of boards or the like joined together side by side to line an excavation.
- Masonry. a number of lags, taken as a whole.
Origin of lagging2
- 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 lagging
Polls show it lagging behind the center-left Democratic party and the protest Five Star Movement.Could Silvio Berlusconi’s Daughter Take Over Italy, Too?
Barbie Latza Nadeau
May 10, 2014
The question is whether the banker, after lagging in the polls for months, can pull off a surprise win in the home stretch.The Banker Sneaking Up on the Republicans Running for Senate in Nebraska
May 9, 2014
In this economy, at this time, the federal budget deficit is something of a lagging indicator.Congress Needs to Pump Up the Deficits
February 4, 2014
What is striking, however, is the extent to which you can look at Rubio as a lagging indicator for the Republican Party.Rubio's Immigration Flip-Flop
October 29, 2013
Clearly much more remains to be done, and practice is lagging too far behind the rhetoric.Editing Gaza Out of Kerry's Palestine Plan
June 3, 2013
The lagging crowd of listeners paused, breathless, to lose no word.Meadow Grass
Then he passed on round to the front of the building with the lagging step of indifference.The Law-Breakers
So I worked on and on, with spurts of fury and periods of lagging.Tales of Fishes
I could scarcely force my lagging steps, one by one, to carry me.Possessed
The sea was rolling heavily, and a good many of our ships were lagging.Kilgorman
Talbot Baines Reed
- insulating material wrapped around pipes, boilers, etc, or laid in a roof loft, to prevent loss of heat
- the act or process of applying lagging
- a wooden frame used to support an arch during construction
- (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 lagging
"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.
- Retarded or diminished movement of the affected side of the chest in pulmonary tuberculosis.