- 1 [in singular] • informal A tiring or unwelcome task: it’s too much of a fag to drive all the way there and back again
- 2A junior pupil at a public school who does minor chores for a senior pupil: a fag at school who has suffered a well-earned beatingMore example sentences
- Unlike most of the top pros who, when the camera's are pointed elsewhere, treat their caddies as if they were public school fags, Garcia is genuinely close to his bagman, South African Glenn Murray.
- He looks like he should be a fag at a public school with those impish, worried looks.
verb (fags, fagging, fagged)[no object] • informal Back to top
- 1Work hard, especially at a tedious task: he didn’t have to fag away in a lab to get the right answerMore example sentences
- Hardly ideal circumstances for a history-making start, but after a few innings things fag into place for the hard throwing right-hander.
- I couldn't be fagged doing it tonight, as I am recovering from the horror of dragging two toddlers around the Royal Melbourne Show all day.
- 1.1(Of a public-school pupil) do minor chores for a senior pupil: the lower boys in each house fagged for members of the LibraryMore example sentences
- Kerr is a strange fish; I once fagged for a chap like him at Fettes.
- In fact, according to a recent biography of Jackson, Churchill actually fagged for two England captains, having earlier served Archie MacLaren as well.
- Letwin had his rebellious moments, campaigning against fagging, the custom of older pupils using younger ones as servants, yet his underlying politics remained conventional.
mid 16th century (as a verb in the sense 'grow weary'): of unknown origin. Compare with flag4.
nounBritish • informal
- A cigarette: she’s got a fag in her mouth, and she’s squinting her eyes against the smokeMore example sentences
- She won't let Alvin smoke his spliffs and fags inside any more.
- ‘A fag is a cig,’ he rolled his eyes at her stupidity.
- And then there was the time we went round the school with a note from Jenkins saying we were doing a study into the effects of cigarette smoke, and could we have some of your fags please sir/miss?
late 19th century: elliptically from fag end.