[ nag-ing ]
/ ˈnæg ɪŋ /


continually faultfinding, complaining, or petulant: a nagging parent.
persistently recurring; unrelenting: a nagging backache.

Origin of nagging

First recorded in 1830–40; nag1 + -ing2

Related forms

nag·ging·ness, nounun·nag·ging, adjectiveun·nag·ging·ly, adverb

Definition for nagging (2 of 2)


[ nag ]
/ næg /

verb (used with object), nagged, nag·ging.

to annoy by persistent faultfinding, complaints, or demands.
to keep in a state of troubled awareness or anxiety, as a recurrent pain or problem: She had certain misgivings that nagged her.

verb (used without object), nagged, nag·ging.

to find fault or complain in an irritating, wearisome, or relentless manner (often followed by at): If they start nagging at each other, I'm going home.
to cause pain, discomfort, distress, depression, etc. (often followed by at): This headache has been nagging at me all day.


Also nagger. a person who nags, especially habitually.
an act or instance of nagging.

Origin of nag

1815–25; < Old Norse nagga to rub, grumble, quarrel; akin to Middle Low German naggen to irritate. See gnaw

Related forms

un·nagged, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nagging

British Dictionary definitions for nagging (1 of 2)


/ (næɡ) /

verb nags, nagging or nagged

to scold or annoy constantly
(when intr, often foll by at) to be a constant source of discomfort or worry (to)toothache nagged him all day


a person, esp a woman, who nags

Derived Forms

nagger, nounnaggingly, adverb

Word Origin for nag

C19: of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish nagga to gnaw, irritate, German nagen

British Dictionary definitions for nagging (2 of 2)


/ (næɡ) /


often derogatory a horse
a small riding horse

Word Origin for nag

C14: of Germanic origin; related to neigh
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