verb (used with object), lugged, lug·ging.

verb (used without object), lugged, lug·ging.

to pull or tug laboriously.
(of an engine or machine) to jerk, hesitate, or strain: The engine lugs when we climb a steep hill.


Origin of lug

1300–50; Middle English luggen < Scandinavian; compare Norwegian lugge, Swedish lugga to pull by the hair
Related formsun·lugged, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lugged

Contemporary Examples of lugged

  • We lugged the beach stuff onto the beach, avoiding anything that resembled a dune.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Why I Hate The Beach

    P. J. O’Rourke

    July 27, 2014

Historical Examples of lugged

  • He even washed the potaters for her, made the fires, an' lugged water.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • The side door was unlocked, so I lugged that box into the settin' room and left it there.

    The Woman-Haters

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • He took the huddled inmate by the collar of his doublet, and lugged him out into the open.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • He did though, and lugged me along for a chaperone, which is some out of my line.

    Shorty McCabe

    Sewell Ford

  • He had lugged it over the trail at the cost of infinite toil and weariness.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service

British Dictionary definitions for lugged



verb lugs, lugging or lugged

to carry or drag (something heavy) with great effort
(tr) to introduce (an irrelevant topic) into a conversation or discussion
(tr) (of a sailing vessel) to carry too much (sail) for the amount of wind blowing


the act or an instance of lugging

Word Origin for lug

C14: probably from Scandinavian; apparently related to Norwegian lugge to pull by the hair




a projecting piece by which something is connected, supported, or lifted
Also called: tug a leather loop used in harness for various purposes
a box or basket for vegetables or fruit with a capacity of 28 to 40 pounds
Scot and Northern English dialect another word for ear 1
slang a man, esp a stupid or awkward one

Word Origin for lug

C15 (Scots dialect) lugge ear, perhaps related to lug 1 (in the sense: to pull by the ear)




nautical short for lugsail




short for lugworm

Word Origin for lug

C16: origin uncertain
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 lugged



late 14c., "to move (something) heavily or slowly," from Scandinavian (cf. Swedish lugga, Norwegian lugge "to pull by the hair"); see lug (n.). Related: Lugged; lugging.



1620s, "handle of a pitcher," from lugge (Scottish) "earflap of a cap, ear" (late 15c.; according to OED, the common word for "ear" in 19c. Scotland), probably from Scandinavian (cf. Swedish lugg "forelock," Norwegian lugg "tuft of hair"). The connecting notion is "something that can be gripped and pulled." Applied 19c. to mechanical objects that can be grabbed or gripped. Meaning "stupid fellow" is from 1924; that of "lout, sponger" is 1931, American English. Cf. lug-nut (1869), nut closed at one end as a cap.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper