verb (used with object), tugged, tug·ging.

verb (used without object), tugged, tug·ging.

to pull with force or effort: to tug at a stuck drawer.
to strive hard; labor; toil.


Nearby words

  1. tufted deer,
  2. tufted duck,
  3. tufted titmouse,
  4. tufting,
  5. tufty,
  6. tug of war,
  7. tug-of-love,
  8. tug-of-war,
  9. tugboat,
  10. tugela

Origin of tug

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

Related formstug·ger, nountug·less, adjectiveun·tugged, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tugged

British Dictionary definitions for tugged


verb tugs, tugging or tugged

(when intr, sometimes foll by at) to pull or drag with sharp or powerful movementsthe boy tugged at the door handle
(tr) to tow (a vessel) by means of a tug
(intr) to work; toil


a strong pull or jerkhe gave the rope a tug
Also called: tugboat, towboat a boat with a powerful engine, used for towing barges, ships, etc
a hard struggle or fight
a less common word for trace 2 (def. 1)
Derived Formstugger, noun

Word Origin for tug

C13: related to Old English tēon to tow 1

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 tugged
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper