from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To pull along with difficulty or effort; haul: synonym: pull.
  • intransitive verb To cause to trail along a surface, especially the ground.
  • intransitive verb To move (a pointing device, such as a mouse) while pressing down on one of its buttons.
  • intransitive verb To move (an element of a graphical display) on a computer screen using a pointing device.
  • intransitive verb To cause to move great effort.
  • intransitive verb To take or escort (a person, for example), especially in overcoming resistance or reluctance.
  • intransitive verb To cause to be involved in an unpleasant or difficult situation.
  • intransitive verb To force or bring out with great effort.
  • intransitive verb To mention or introduce (an unpleasant or tedious subject).
  • intransitive verb To search or sweep the bottom of (a body of water), as with a grappling hook or dragnet.
  • intransitive verb To bring up or catch by such means.
  • intransitive verb To prolong tediously.
  • intransitive verb Baseball To hit (a bunt) while taking the first steps toward first base.
  • intransitive verb To break up, rake, or smooth out (land or dirt), especially by pulling a drag or heavy mesh.
  • intransitive verb To trail along the ground.
  • intransitive verb To move slowly or with effort.
  • intransitive verb To pass or proceed slowly, tediously, or laboriously.
  • intransitive verb To search or dredge the bottom of a body of water.
  • intransitive verb To take part in a drag race.
  • intransitive verb To draw on a cigarette, pipe, or cigar.
  • noun Something, such as a harrow or an implement for spreading manure, that is dragged along the ground.
  • noun A device, such as a grappling hook, that is used for dragging under water.
  • noun A heavy sledge or cart for hauling loads.
  • noun A large four-horse coach with seats inside and on top.
  • noun Something, such as a sea anchor or a brake on a fishing reel, that retards motion.
  • noun One that impedes or slows progress; a drawback or burden.
  • noun The degree of resistance involved in dragging or hauling.
  • noun The retarding force exerted on a moving body by a fluid medium such as air or water.
  • noun The act of dragging, especially a slow, laborious movement.
  • noun The scent or trail of a fox or another animal.
  • noun Something that provides an artificial scent.
  • noun Slang One that is obnoxiously tiresome.
  • noun A puff on a cigarette, pipe, or cigar.
  • noun Slang A street or road.
  • noun The clothing characteristic of one sex when worn by a member of the opposite sex.
  • adjective Of, relating to, or being a person wearing clothing characteristic of the opposite sex.
  • idiom (feet/heels) To act or work with intentional slowness; delay.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To draw along by main force; pull; haul.
  • To draw along slowly or heavily, as something difficult to move: as, to drag one foot after the other.
  • To draw a grapnel through or at the bottom of, as a river or other body of water, in search of something: as, they dragged the pond.
  • Hence Figuratively, to search painfully or carefully.
  • To break, as land, by drawing a drag or harrow over it; harrow.
  • To be drawn along or trail on the ground; be pulled or hauled along: as, an anchor that does not hold is said to drag.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English draggen, from Old Norse draga or variant of Middle English drawen; see draw.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English draggen ("to drag"), early Middle English dragen ("to draw, carry"), confluence of Old English dragan ("to drag, draw, draw oneself, go, protract") and Old Norse draga ("to draw, attract"); both from Proto-Germanic *draganan (“to draw, drag”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰerāgʰ- (“to draw, drag”). Verb sense influenced due to association with the noun drag ("that which is hauled or dragged"), related to Low German dragge ("a drag-anchor, grapnel"). Cognate with Danish drægge ("to dredge"), Danish drage ("to draw, attract"), Swedish dragga ("to drag, drag anchor, sweep"), Swedish draga ("to draw, go"), Icelandic draga ("to drag, pull"). More at draw.


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  • Contronymic in the sense: race vs. delay.

    January 27, 2007

  • For some people, "drug" can be a past tense form of "drag". See this map for American usage.

    April 14, 2008

  • The meaning "clothing that is conventionally worn by the opposite sex (especially women's clothing when worn by a man)" comes from Yiddish "trogn," to dress or to wear a dress, by way of Polari, a cant language.

    October 5, 2008

  • Definition here.

    July 15, 2009

  • "23. The smell of a fox on the ground: as, the drag was taken up by the hounds."

    --Century Dictionary

    January 5, 2011