[ stag ]
See synonyms for stag on
  1. an adult male deer.

  2. a man who attends a social gathering unaccompanied by a woman.

  1. Informal. stag party.

  2. a domesticated boar or bull castrated after maturation of the sexual organs.

  3. British. a speculator who buys securities of a new issue in the hope of selling them quickly at a higher price.

verb (used without object),stagged, stag·ging.
  1. Informal. (of a man) to attend a social function without a female companion.

  1. of or for men only: a stag dinner.

  2. intended for male audiences and usually pornographic in content: a stag show.

  1. without a companion or date: to go stag to a dance.

Origin of stag

First recorded in 1150–1200; Middle English stagge; akin to Old Norse steggi, steggr “male bird” (giving rise to northern English dialect steg “gander”), Icelandic steggur “male fox, tomcat”

Other words from stag

  • staglike, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use stag in a sentence

  • The children began to look for the antlers of the full-grown stags in early winter.

    The Later Cave-Men | Katharine Elizabeth Dopp
  • Can you think why the females and the young males of the reindeer herd could drive the old stags away during the winter?

    The Later Cave-Men | Katharine Elizabeth Dopp
  • When the old stags shed their antlers, he saw the men dance the reindeer dance.

    The Later Cave-Men | Katharine Elizabeth Dopp
  • In early winter, he heard them tell stories of dangerous encounters with ugly stags.

    The Later Cave-Men | Katharine Elizabeth Dopp
  • The stags of the forest do not pasture in herds, hence they find a sufficiency in the woods.

British Dictionary definitions for stag


/ (stæɡ) /

  1. the adult male of a deer, esp a red deer

  2. a man unaccompanied by a woman at a social gathering

  1. stock exchange, British

    • a speculator who applies for shares in a new issue in anticipation of a rise in price when trading commences in order to make a quick profit on resale

    • (as modifier): stag operations

  2. (modifier) (of a social gathering) attended by men only

  3. (modifier) pornographic in content: a stag show

  1. without a female escort

  1. stock exchange to apply for (shares in a new issue) with the intention of selling them for a quick profit when trading commences

Origin of stag

Old English stagga (unattested); related to Old Norse steggr male bird

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with stag


In addition to the idiom beginning with stag

  • stage fright
  • stage whisper
  • stag party

also see:

  • go stag

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.