[ tuhg ]
See synonyms for: tugtuggedtugging on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),tugged, tug·ging.
  1. to pull at with force, vigor, or effort.

  2. to move by pulling forcibly; drag; haul.

  1. to tow (a vessel) by means of a tugboat.

verb (used without object),tugged, tug·ging.
  1. to pull with force or effort: to tug at a stuck drawer.

  2. to strive hard; labor; toil.

  1. an act or instance of tugging; pull; haul.

  2. a strenuous contest between opposing forces, groups, or persons; struggle: the tug of young minds in a seminar.

  1. that by which something is tugged, as a rope or chain.

  2. (on a harness)

Origin of tug

1175–1225; Middle English toggen to play-wrestle, contend; akin to Old English togian to tow1

Other words for tug

Other words from tug

  • tugger, noun
  • tugless, adjective
  • un·tugged, adjective

Words Nearby tug

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use tug in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for tug


/ (tʌɡ) /

verbtugs, tugging or tugged
  1. (when intr, sometimes foll by at) to pull or drag with sharp or powerful movements: the boy tugged at the door handle

  2. (tr) to tow (a vessel) by means of a tug

  1. (intr) to work; toil

  1. a strong pull or jerk: he gave the rope a tug

  2. Also called: tugboat, towboat a boat with a powerful engine, used for towing barges, ships, etc

  1. a hard struggle or fight

  2. a less common word for trace 2 (def. 1)

Origin of tug

C13: related to Old English tēon to tow 1

Derived forms of tug

  • tugger, noun

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