Definition of fag end in English:

Share this entry

fag end

Pronunciation: /ˈˌfaɡ ˈend/


informal, chiefly British
1A cigarette butt.
Example sentences
  • He coughed and rested his fag end on the vintage Brylcream lid he used as an ashtray.
  • She curtsied on her way out, and dumped her fag end into Manny's fountain.
  • It annoys me when I see someone drop their fag end on the ground and they're standing right next to an ash tray which Surrey County Council recently installed on a load of lamp posts in Redhill.
1.1An inferior and useless remnant of something: the fag ends of rope figurative a culture reaching the fag end of its existence
More example sentences
  • I could not watch the game all through but was lucky to be in front of TV in the fag end of the match.
  • The garden was set up at the fag end of last academic year.
  • Chewing On Glass is an album absolutely dripping in the soft, dewy sheen of midnight; the kind of music that you murmur to yourself at the fag end of parties and the quiet contemplation of dawn.


Early 17th century (in the sense 'remnant'): from 15th-century fag 'a flap', of unknown origin. The sense 'a cigarette butt' dates from the early 20th century.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: fag end

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.