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

Related Words for lugging

tote, tow, haul, carry, ferry, heave, buck, draw, trawl, jerk, pull, hump, rake, lurch, bear, lift, convey, snap, tug, yank

Examples from the Web for lugging

Contemporary Examples of lugging

Historical Examples of lugging

  • Lugging a fellow up for a pitiful, paltry sum of twenty pounds!

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • I should have said you were, lugging that thing about with you.

    The Girl on the Boat

    Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

  • She would need to be a lusty Amazon, Prather, if she took the contract of lugging me about.

    The Brentons

    Anna Chapin Ray

  • It's the lugging the poor girl into his ma's sphere of influence.

    Somehow Good

    William de Morgan

  • It was compensation enough, perhaps, for lugging this damned Jeffrey.

    This Crowded Earth

    Robert Bloch

British Dictionary definitions for lugging



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 lugging



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