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drag

Line breaks: drag
Pronunciation: /draɡ
 
/

Definition of drag in English:

verb (drags, dragging, dragged)

1 [with object and adverbial of direction] Pull (someone or something) along forcefully, roughly, or with difficulty: we dragged the boat up the beach
More example sentences
  • Handling children roughly by dragging them along by their arms was totally inappropriate behaviour and potentially dangerous to the child or children concerned.
  • Verek was walking with difficulty, dragging a body along side him.
  • He pulled on her roughly, trying to drag her back towards the shore, but wasn't making very good progress.
Synonyms
haul, pull, draw, tug, heave, trail, trawl, tow;
Irish streel
informal yank, lug
archaic hale
1.1Take (someone) to or from a place or event, despite their reluctance: my girlfriend is dragging me off to Rhodes for a week
More example sentences
  • He drags David to the event, and ends up proposing to his new girlfriend.
  • It also meant that, as her best friend, I was usually dragged to whatever event that gossip may lead her too.
  • Like a mad tugboat, my friend Michael nonetheless seemed eager to drag me to the event.
1.2 (drag oneself) Go somewhere wearily, reluctantly, or with difficulty: I have to drag myself out of bed each day
More example sentences
  • The church is dragging itself, however reluctantly in some quarters, into the 21st century.
  • Reluctantly we dragged ourselves away from bashing rock solid flowers frozen to minus 196 degrees Celsius.
  • Reluctantly, I drag myself from the security of sleep.
1.3Move (an image or highlighted text) across a computer screen using a tool such as a mouse: you can move the icons into this group by dragging them in with the mouse
More example sentences
  • If you'd like to move your text, click and hold your left mouse button to drag your text to your desired position.
  • In graphical editors, to change a block of text, click and drag the mouse to highlight the text, then click an icon or menu option or type a keyboard shortcut.
  • Internet Radio stations are added by browsing to the website, and dragging the icon of the desired station into the drop window.
1.4 [no object] (Of a person’s clothes or an animal’s tail) trail along the ground: the nuns walked in meditation, their habits dragging on the grassy verge
More example sentences
  • Her ghoulish black clothing dragged tragically along the ground.
  • Cherry strolled slowly, her dark red skirt dragging along the ground.
  • Taidra quickly moved to her closet door, her servant dress dragging along the ground.
1.5 [no object] (drag at) Catch hold of and pull (something): desperately, Jinny dragged at his arm
More example sentences
  • He once said to me ‘I can't understand fellows pulling and dragging at a player, if you go for a ball don't waste petrol, make one journey.’
  • With the considerable football hype that is pulling and dragging at his sporting consciousness, it is vital that the senior hurlers are not overlooked.
  • They are outwardly charming but ultimately ruled by darker forces, like the fierce undertow that pulls and drags at the coast of the Breton island where this beguiling novel is set.
1.6 [with object] (Of a ship) trail (an anchor) along the seabed, drifting in the process: the coaster was dragging her anchor in St Ives Bay [no object]: the anchor did not hold and they dragged further through the water
More example sentences
  • The crew made a distress call after their 47 foot yacht started dragging its anchor and was in danger of going ashore onto the rocks.
  • Many a boat has dragged anchor and been smashed to pieces there.
  • Her propeller shaft was fouled and she was dragging her anchor, so Endurance, some 25 miles away when the call went out, closed in at top speed to act as on-scene commander.
1.7 [no object] (Of an anchor) fail to hold, causing a ship or boat to drift: his anchor had dragged and he found himself sailing out to sea
More example sentences
  • This allows a user to input the swing and drag circles and activates an alarm if the anchor begins to drag or another ship is about to move within the danger circle.
  • You are set for the night, unless the wind picks up and/or the tidal current causes your anchor to drag.
  • But once that expectational anchor began to drag, unions had reason to fear that inflation, once ignited, would persist.
1.8 [with object] Search the bottom of (a river, lake, or the sea) with grapnels or nets: frogmen had dragged the local river
More example sentences
  • Lochs and rivers have been dragged by police divers, and mountain rescue teams have been called out to search the wild Argyll terrain for his body - but to no avail.
2 [no object] (Of time) pass slowly and tediously: the day dragged—eventually it was time for bed
More example sentences
  • Time dragged slowly but somehow the hour passed, and the time came to go on through to the hall where the gig was being held.
  • Sunday dragged slowly on and it was a surprise when Frank phoned and told me we were going to leave early, as the captain had seen a big shoal of mackerel whilst on the way in.
  • She felt herself nodding off to sleep as the minutes dragged slowly by.
Synonyms
become tedious, appear to pass slowly, go slowly, move slowly, creep along, limp along, crawl, hang heavy, go at a snail's pace, wear on, go on too long, go on and on
2.1 (drag on) (Of a process or situation) continue at tedious and unnecessary length: the dispute between the two families dragged on for some years
More example sentences
  • Hasani said the drafting process of the statute dragged on for over a year because it did not suit the interests of the Rectorate.
  • In fact, so laborious was the process that it dragged on for months and went way over budget.
  • This process dragged on for over a year, while at the same time in the city, the gas and heating were cut off.
Synonyms
persist, continue, go on, carry on, extend, run on, be protracted, linger, endure, keep up, hold, prevail, subsist
2.2 [with object] (drag something out) Protract something unnecessarily: he dragged out the process of serving them
More example sentences
  • There will be no sequel since it would unnecessarily be dragging the whole thing out and I don't have any ideas.
  • Even if the sentence is reduced on appeal, he still seems certain to miss the competition as his lawyers and those of his club continue to drag the process out.
  • Ben was quiet, he continued with his pizza slowly, dragging the process out just to watch her squirm.
Synonyms
prolong, protract, draw out, stretch out, spin out, string out, make something go on and on, extend, extend the duration of, lengthen, carry on, keep going, keep alive, continue
archaic wire-draw

noun

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1 [mass noun] The action of pulling something forcefully or with difficulty: the drag of the current
More example sentences
  • The dog of course, had to take me for an arm wrenching drag and Ditto looked on with some displeasure when she realised that the mad animal shouting at her was attached to me!
  • A downhill frozen start continued to a long uphill drag through a muddy wooded section before turning into the wind, past the start for a second lap.
  • However, the most efficient possible pure drag stroke is relatively simple to analyze.
Synonyms
pull, tug, tow, heave, yank;
resistance, braking, retardation
1.1The longitudinal retarding force exerted by air or other fluid surrounding a moving object: the coating reduces aerodynamic drag
More example sentences
  • That friction-like drag slowed the moving cloud of atoms to a standstill, although each atom continued to move randomly near its place in the array.
  • Any increase in surface area will increase skin friction drag.
  • The presence of a longer disordered tag thus exerts a greater frictional drag, affecting the module tumbling in solution.
1.2 [in singular] A person or thing that impedes progress or development: Larry was turning out to be a drag on her career
More example sentences
  • Gains by both groups after encouraging figures from the company saw the FTSE shrug off the drag caused by weaker bank, pharmaceutical and telecom stocks.
  • Larry mentioned this year that he almost always has to build the roof for the missions, which I guess is a drag because they are complicated.
  • At present, they are more of an economic drag and a liability.
1.3 Angling Unnatural motion of a fishing fly caused by the pull of the line.
Example sentences
  • With the wind blowing from left to right, I used the line drag to move the fly through each cast across and down like salmon fishing.
  • It took yards of line off a hard-set drag, and it all but pulled me off my ledge.
  • And any fish that can pull line off against ten pounds of drag is a fish that you ought to give line to anyway!
1.4 [count noun] archaic An iron shoe that can be applied as a brake to the wheel of a cart or wagon.
2 [in singular] informal A boring or tiresome person or thing: working nine to five can be a drag
More example sentences
  • His new album is not musically operatic - his songs are tediously boring, like a drag out of hell.
  • Sometimes, just sometimes, to only work becomes either a drag or just too boring.
  • Soon politics will no longer be a boring drag and life could get very regal in the Aras.
Synonyms
bore, tedious thing, tiresome thing, nuisance, bother, trouble, pest, annoyance, source of annoyance, trial, vexation, thorn in one's flesh;
tiresome person, tedious person
North American informal pain in the butt, nudnik
Australian/New Zealand informal nark
British informal , dated blighter, blister, pill
British vulgar slang pain in the arse
3 informal An act of inhaling smoke from a cigarette: he took a long drag on his cigarette
More example sentences
  • He held the cigarette in his right hand, he twirled it, he flicked it, he put it to his lips and took long drags, inhaling the smoke, holding it in his lungs forever.
  • He lit his cigarette and took a long drag, blowing the smoke out towards her.
  • Fuora said grinning, she lit a cigarette and took a long drag then blew the smoke into Bree's face.
4 [mass noun] Clothing more conventionally worn by the opposite sex, especially women’s clothes worn by a man: a fashion show, complete with men in drag
More example sentences
  • In drag, he has avoided the obvious pitfalls and manages to be quite moving.
  • In drag, the men play and create new identities.
  • For those who have never seen live drag king shows, this documentary is definitely an eye-opener.
5 informal A street or road: the main drag is wide but there are few vehicles
6 historical A private vehicle like a stagecoach, drawn by four horses.
6.1British informal , dated A car: a stately great drag with a smart chauffeur
7 short for drag race.
Example sentences
  • Having the family around makes for a great time for everyone, but we're reminded that the extra summer traffic means extra diligence on the highways to and from the drags.
  • Events held include bracket races, Jr. drag races, Thursday night street car races, and Friday night drags.
  • I think this is why we wear ear plugs at the drags - to keep the numbers from leaking out of our skulls.
8A thing that is pulled along the ground or through water, in particular:
Example sentences
  • The car in front loses some of the drag at its rear.
  • "We usually limit a drag to maybe three trees," Murnaghan says.
8.1 historical A harrow used for breaking up the surface of land.
8.2An apparatus for dredging or for recovering objects from the bottom of a river or lake.
8.3 another term for dragnet.
9A strong-smelling lure drawn before hounds as a substitute for a fox.
Example sentences
  • If he took the time to investigate this issue further he would find that video evidence is available showing greyhounds enthusiastically following a drag lure.
  • Has there been any attempt on the part of the drag or bloodhound to devise a new form of the sport that might suit people that are not used to hunting in any way?
  • Hunting the drag in all its forms is the future of hunting.
9.1A hunt using a drag lure.
Example sentences
  • But for those people who want to ride to hounds, collectively they may go once and try it, be it a fox hunt or a drag hunt.
  • In spite of that, a drag hunt has existed for many years and still exists today.
  • The members remain free to assemble together for a mock chase, or a drag hunt or simply a communal ride.
10 [mass noun] North American informal Influence over other people: they had the education but they didn’t have the drag
11 Music One of the basic patterns (rudiments) of drumming, consisting of a stroke preceded by two grace notes usually played with the other stick. See also ruff4.

Origin

Middle English: from Old English dragan or Old Norse draga 'to draw'; the noun partly from Middle Low German dragge 'grapnel'.

More
  • The word drag comes from the same Old Norse root as draw (Old English), draught (Middle English), the type of cart known as a dray (Late Middle English), and possibly drudge (Middle English). The sense ‘a boring or tiresome person or thing’ developed in the early 19th century from the idea of an attachment that drags and hinders progress. The cumbersomeness of contemporary women's dress may also be behind the use of drag for ‘women's clothing worn by a man’, which is recorded from the 1870s. A street has been a drag since the middle of the 19th century. A description of London life in 1851 records a woman ‘whose husband has got a month for “griddling in the main drag” (singing in the high street)’. The term later became better known in the USA, especially in the main drag.

Phrases

drag and drop

1
Computing Move (an image or highlighted text) to another part of the screen using a mouse or similar device: a new interface lets you drag and drop items
More example sentences
  • Files can be easily transferred back to a host computer by drag and drop.
  • You must use your PC software to drag and drop music onto the device.
  • The company has fixed the glitch where email attachments copied by drag and drop rather than the Save button would retain the read/write permissions of the sender rather than the recipient.

drag one's feet

2
Walk slowly and wearily or with difficulty: they dragged their feet through the orchard towards the house
More example sentences
  • Slowly, dragging his feet, he walked toward the front entrance.
  • Jake gave a little groan and slowly walked over, dragging his feet like a man condemned to death.
  • Slowly she dragged her feet walking into the bathroom and splashed water on her face to wake her up.
(also drag one's heels)2.1 Be deliberately slow or reluctant to act: the government has dragged its heels over permanent legislation
More example sentences
  • This rather seems to bear out his surmise… that they are deliberately dragging their heels.
  • However, they are issued under a voluntary code and the organisation said there had been thousands of cases where firms had dragged their heels, or simply refused to issue codes.
  • Nothing was too little trouble for me and I dragged my heels reluctantly, putting off necessary chores until the last possible moment and even deferring some for another day.
Synonyms
delay, put off doing something, postpone action, defer action, procrastinate, be dilatory, use delaying tactics, stall, temporize, play for time, play a waiting game, dally, take one's time
informal dilly-dally, shilly-shally

drag someone/thing through the mud

3
see mud.

Phrasal verbs

drag someone/thing down

1
Bring someone or something to a lower level or standard: the economy will be dragged down by inefficient firms
More example sentences
  • I'm concerned that this school will be dragged down to the level of the other two.
  • I'll leave that to the gang of pie-in-the-sky crusaders who crawled out of the woodwork in force this week claiming the game has been dragged down to irreparable levels.
  • These yobs are dragging us down to their level.

drag something in/into

2
Introduce an irrelevant or inappropriate subject: politics were never dragged into the conversation

drag someone/thing into

3
Involve someone or something in (a situation or matter), typically when such involvement is inappropriate or unnecessary: he had no right to drag you into this sort of thing
More example sentences
  • It should be remembered that the army had a first strike doctrine, which dragged Europe into an unnecessary and highly destructive maelstrom.
  • Many thought he had dragged the country into an unnecessary war on pretenses of a threat that did not exist.
  • The letters that dragged him into the situation were written during this period.

drag on

4
informal Inhale the smoke from (a cigarette): she dragged on a low-tar cigarette
More example sentences
  • Smoking a cigar is altogether different from dragging on a cigarette.
  • I figured you had woken up at first until you started dragging on that cigarette without lighting it.
  • Once he's more or less settled, he drags on the cigarette, which he has already smoked almost down to the filter.

drag something out

5
Extract information from someone against their will: the truth was being dragged out of us
More example sentences
  • She may have some woman's nature in her, but she still had a warrior's heart and gave no excuses unless they were dragged out of her.
  • Each grows more suspicious of the others as possible motives are revealed and skeletons are dragged out of the closet.
  • Over the past year more and more details of the complex financial affairs have been dragged out of him, mainly as a result of the exhaustive trawl of banking institutions and other sources by the tribunal's legal team.

drag up

6
informal Dress up in clothes more conventionally worn by the opposite sex: he drags up to play a high-heeled bordello inmate
More example sentences
  • Dave drags up to become his own female backing group - all three of them!
  • The torrential confession of Detective-Sergeant Bruce Robertson, a cocaine-addicted, eczema - ridden, worm-eaten Edinburgh copper, entailed the shaven-headed Burn dragging up.
  • I dreamed I had been dragging up for work since I started, and they were all convinced I was a girl.

drag something up

7
informal Deliberately mention an unwelcome or unpleasant fact: pieces of evidence about his early life were dragged up
More example sentences
  • Mobile phone records were dragged up as part of an investigation into insider trading, which embroiled one of the richest men in the City, before concluding there was no case to answer.
  • I can't believe they are dragging this story up again!
  • The current bad guys are dragging it up again to justify contemporary viciousness.

drag someone up

8
British informal Bring up a child badly: would you have her dragged up by a succession of au pairs?
More example sentences
  • But part of me thinks Geoff and I would have been better off if we had been dragged up together.
  • I spent a long time disagreeing with my own parents about their ways of dragging me up - yet more and more I find it harder to pick fault, because I think that in general I've turned out OK.
  • Yes, that Belfast street where he was dragged up, it was such a dangerous place that if there was ever a knock at the door, his father'd only go to answer it if he had an axe in his hand.

Words that rhyme with drag

bag, blag, brag, Bragg, crag, dag, fag, flag, gag, hag, jag, lag, mag, nag, quag, rag, sag, scrag, shag, slag, snag, sprag, stag, swag, tag, wag, zag

Definition of drag in:

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