- 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.
- Mining. a short timber for propping up loose walls or spacing two sets.
- to prop, support, or immobilize (a vehicle) by means of a sprag.
- to slow a vehicle by means of a sprag or, sometimes, by bracing the feet against the ground.
Origin of sprag1
1835–45; special use of dial. sprag twig (Old English spræcg shoot, slip); akin to sprig
- a young cod.
Origin of sprag2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for sprag
Next instant (to make quite sure) I jumped out, ran to the front, and lowered the sprag.The Lightning Conductor
C. N. Williamson
For all that, it's a sheer impossibility that you should guess who put a sprag in the wheel of Hilton's chariot.The Strange Case of Mortimer Fenley
Sprag, sprag, n. a piece of wood used to lock a wheel: a punch-prop in mining.
Conclusion; with a testimonial of commodore Sprag in behalf of the assembly.
- a chock or steel bar used to prevent a vehicle from running backwards on an incline
- a support or post used in mining
- NZ mining a steel bar inserted into the wheels of a box to act as a brake
C19: of uncertain origin
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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper