Definitions

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

  • n. An old woman considered ugly or frightful.
  • n. A witch; a sorceress.
  • n. Obsolete A female demon.
  • n. A hagfish.
  • n. Chiefly British A boggy area; a quagmire.
  • n. Chiefly British A spot in boggy land that is softer or more solid than the surrounding area.
  • n. Chiefly British A cutting in a peat bog.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small wood, or part of a wood or copse, which is marked off or enclosed for felling, or which has been felled.
  • n. A quagmire; mossy ground where peat or turf has been cut.
  • n. A witch, sorceress, or enchantress; also, a wizard.
  • n. An ugly old woman.
  • n. A fury; a she-monster.
  • n. An eel-like marine marsipobranch (Myxine glutinosa), allied to the lamprey. It has a suctorial mouth, with labial appendages, and a single pair of gill openings. It is the type of the order Hyperotreti. Called also hagfish, borer, slime eel, sucker, and sleepmarken.
  • n. The hagdon or shearwater.
  • n. An appearance of light and fire on a horse's mane or a man's hair.
  • n. The fruit of the hagberry.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A witch, sorceress, or enchantress; also, a wizard.
  • n. An ugly old woman.
  • n. A fury; a she-monster.
  • n. An eel-like marine marsipobranch (Myxine glutinosa), allied to the lamprey. It has a suctorial mouth, with labial appendages, and a single pair of gill openings. It is the type of the order Hyperotreta. Called also hagfish, borer, slime eel, sucker, and sleepmarken.
  • n. The hagdon or shearwater.
  • n. An appearance of light and fire on a horse's mane or a man's hair.
  • transitive v. To harass; to weary with vexation.
  • n. A small wood, or part of a wood or copse, which is marked off or inclosed for felling, or which has been felled.
  • n. A quagmire; mossy ground where peat or turf has been cut.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A witch; a sorceress; an enchantress; very rarely, a male witch; wizard; magician.
  • n. A repulsive, vicious, or malicious old woman.
  • n. A cyclostomous or marsipobranchiate fish, Myxine glutinosa, or glutinous hag, related to the lamprey, type of the family Myxinidæ and suborder Hyperotreta. See these technical words.
  • n. A white mist; phosphoric light; an appearance of light or fire on horses' manes or men's hair.
  • To vex; harass; torment.
  • n. A small wood or wooded inclosure.
  • To cut; hack; chop; hew: same as hack.
  • To haggle or dispute.
  • n. A stroke with an ax or a knife; a notch; a cut; a hack.
  • n. A certain part of a wood intended to be cut.
  • n. One cutting or felling of a certain quantity of wood; also, the wood so cut.
  • n. Branches lopped off for firewood; brushwood.
  • n. A quagmire or pit in mossy ground; any broken ground in a bog.
  • n. a rabble; rag, tag, and bobtail.
  • n. A bachelor; a fellow; a man.
  • n. A kind of boat. See the quotation.
  • n. A bird: same as hagden.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an ugly evil-looking old woman
  • n. eellike cyclostome having a tongue with horny teeth in a round mouth surrounded by eight tentacles; feeds on dead or trapped fishes by boring into their bodies

Etymologies

Middle English hagge, perhaps short for Old English hægtesse, witch.
Middle English, gap, chasm, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse högg; see kau- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Scots hag ("to cut"); compare English hack. (Wiktionary)
Middle English hagge, hegge 'demon, old woman', shortening of Old English hægtesse, hægtes 'harpy, witch', from Proto-Germanic *hagatusjōn (compare East Frisian Häkse, Dutch heks, German Hexe), compound of (1) *hagaz 'able, skilled' (compare Old Norse hagr 'handy, skillful', Middle High German behac 'pleasurable'), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱak- (compare Sanskrit ... (śaknóti) 'he can'), and (2) *tusjōn 'witch' (compare Norwegian dialect tysja 'fairy, she-elf').[2] (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • To what you call the hag-ridden moron jittering out of sight in your mind, so many things equate to a threat to survival.

    The Short Life

  • Margaret starts out as a many pleasing girl in France as good as ends up as a scolding, infamous aged hag; is which a story, or is it unequivocally dual plays?

    Archive 2009-11-01

  • Jan from boca raton ..... are you mad the hag is done? ostriches burying our heads in the sand

    Obama campaign makes general election plans

  • A fag hag is a slang term for a woman who either associates mostly or exclusively with homosexual men, or is best or good friends to a gay man or men.

    Wikipedia is so awesome.

  • The term yamanba comes from a mountain hag, known as Yama-uba, whom the fashion is thought to resemble.

    Boing Boing: August 6, 2006 - August 12, 2006 Archives

  • _ -- Stones with holes through them were commonly called hag-stones, and were often attached to the key of the stable door to prevent witches riding the horses.

    Three Thousand Years of Mental Healing

  • Don’t make judgments about the particulars—Oh my God, I just used the word hag—simply feel the direct sensations as they arise in your body.

    Women Food and God

  • Shakespeare generally uses the word in an uncomplimentary sense -- 'hag' -- but it is not so used here.

    Keats: Poems Published in 1820

  • In Sussex, fairy rings were called hag tracks', while in Devon it was believed that fairies would catch young horses in the night and ride them round in circles.

    Fairy rings.

  • Her eyes haunted me; they had what is called a hag-ridden look.

    Lore of Proserpine

Comments

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  • A bird, a boat, a fish, a bachelor, except when it is a peat hag.

    November 1, 2011

  • American Heritage Dictionary, def. 6: "Chiefly British A spot in boggy land that is softer or more solid than the surrounding area." Well which is it, softer, or more solid?

    March 17, 2011

  • "But as Garfinkel observes, the Hebrew word hag means both 'festival' and to 'go in a circle'—suggesting that the primordial form of many traditional Jewish festivals was the circle dance."
    —Barbara Ehrenreich, Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006), 31

    March 12, 2009