• synonyms


  1. a pole or bar hinged to the rear axle of a cart or the like in such a way that it can brace the vehicle against a road to prevent it from rolling downhill.
  2. Mining. a short timber for propping up loose walls or spacing two sets.
Show More
verb (used with object), spragged, sprag·ging.
  1. to prop, support, or immobilize (a vehicle) by means of a sprag.
Show More
verb (used without object), spragged, sprag·ging.
  1. to slow a vehicle by means of a sprag or, sometimes, by bracing the feet against the ground.
Show More

Origin of sprag1

1835–45; special use of dial. sprag twig (Old English spræcg shoot, slip); akin to sprig


  1. a young cod.
Show More

Origin of sprag2

1700–10; special use of dial. sprag twig, lively young man; see sprag1 and for meaning, cf. sprig
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sprag

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for sprag


  1. a chock or steel bar used to prevent a vehicle from running backwards on an incline
  2. a support or post used in mining
  3. NZ mining a steel bar inserted into the wheels of a box to act as a brake
Show More

Word Origin

C19: of uncertain origin
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 sprag


"prop in a mine," 1841, of unknown origin. Transferred by 1878 to wood blocks, etc., used to brake motor vehicles. As a verb, from 1841. Related: Spragged; spragging.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper