Meaning of DRAG in English


I. drag 1 S3 W3 /dræɡ/ BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle dragged , present participle dragging )

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old Norse ; Origin: draga or Old English dragan ; ⇨ ↑ draw 1 ]

1 . PULL SOMETHING [transitive] to pull something along the ground, often because it is too heavy to carry

drag something away/along/through etc

Inge managed to drag the table into the kitchen.

2 . PULL SOMEBODY [transitive always + adverb/preposition] to pull someone somewhere where they do not want to go, in a way that is not gentle:

He grabbed her arm and dragged her into the room.

3 . drag yourself to/into/out of etc something informal to move somewhere with difficulty, especially because you are ill, tired, or unhappy:

I dragged myself out of bed and into the bathroom.

Can you drag yourself away from (=stop watching) the TV for a minute?

4 . PERSUADE SOMEBODY TO COME [transitive always + adverb/preposition] informal if you drag someone somewhere, you persuade or force them to come with you when they do not want to:

Mom dragged us to a classical music concert.

5 . COMPUTER [transitive] to move words, pictures etc on a computer screen by pulling them along with the ↑ mouse :

You can drag and drop text like this.

6 . BE BORING [intransitive] if time or an event drags, it seems to go very slowly because nothing interesting is happening:

Friday afternoons always drag.

7 . TOUCH THE GROUND [intransitive] if something is dragging along the ground, part of it is touching the ground as you move

drag along/in/on

Your coat’s dragging in the mud.

8 . drag your feet/heels informal to take too much time to do something because you do not want to do it:

The authorities are dragging their feet over banning cigarette advertising.

9 . drag a lake/river etc to look for something in a lake, river etc by pulling a heavy net along the bottom:

The police are dragging the lake for the missing girl’s body.

10 . drag sb’s name through the mud to tell people about the bad things that someone has done, so that they will have a bad opinion of them

11 . drag somebody through the courts to force someone to go to a court of law, especially in order to make them have a bad experience because you are angry with them

12 . drag somebody kicking and screaming into something to force someone to do something that they do not want to – used humorously:

The party will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

13 . look as if you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards to look very untidy – used humorously

14 . INJURED LEG/FOOT [transitive] if you drag your leg, foot etc, you cannot lift it off the ground as you walk because it is injured:

a bird dragging its broken wing

drag somebody/something ↔ down phrasal verb

1 . to make someone feel unhappy and weak:

Joe’s been ill for weeks now – it’s really dragging him down.

2 . to make the price, level, or quality of something go down:

Declining prices for aluminium have dragged down the company’s earnings.

3 . if someone or something bad drags you down, they make you become worse or get into a worse situation:

Don’t let them drag you down to their level.

drag somebody/something into something ( also drag somebody/something ↔ in ) phrasal verb

1 . to make someone get involved in an argument, war, or other unpleasant situation that they do not want to be involved in:

I’m sorry to drag you into this mess.

2 . to talk about something when you are having a discussion or argument, even though it is not connected with it:

Don’t drag my past into this!

drag on phrasal verb

if an event or situation drags on, it continues for too long

drag on for

an expensive court battle that could drag on for years

drag something ↔ out phrasal verb

to make an event or situation last longer than is necessary:

Neither of them wanted to drag the divorce out longer than they had to.

drag something out of somebody phrasal verb

to make someone tell you something when they had not intended to tell you or were not supposed to tell you:

Police finally dragged a confession out of him.

drag somebody/something ↔ up phrasal verb

1 . to mention an unpleasant or embarrassing story from the past, even though it upsets someone:

Why do you have to drag that up again?

2 . be dragged up British English if a child is dragged up, their parents do not teach them to behave properly – used humorously:

Those children have been dragged up, not brought up!

• • •


▪ pull to make something or someone move in the direction that your hands are moving:

He pulled her towards him and kissed her.


Sam was pulling on his socks.

▪ tug to pull something suddenly with a short quick movement, often to get someone’s attention:

‘Look,’ he said, tugging at his brother’s sleeve.


I tugged at the drawer but it wouldn’t open.

▪ drag to pull something along the ground, especially because it is heavy:

If we can’t lift the piano, we’ll have to drag it.

▪ haul to pull something big and heavy using a lot of effort, especially upwards and using a rope:

They hauled their boats further up the beach.


fishermen hauling in their nets

▪ heave to pull or lift something very heavy, especially with one movement:

He heaved the sack of sand onto his shoulder.

▪ draw formal to pull something or someone gently in a particular direction:

Lisa reached for his hand but he drew it away.

▪ pull to be attached to a vehicle or piece of machinery and make it move behind you in the direction you are going:

Ten dogs were pulling a sledge over the ice.


a tractor pulling a plough

▪ tow to pull a vehicle behind – used about a vehicle, a boat, or a horse pulling something using a rope or chain:

The car in front of us was towing a caravan.


Horses were used to tow the boats along the canals.

▪ draw to pull a vehicle such as a carriage – used especially about horses doing this:

a carriage drawn by four horses


a horse-drawn cart

II. drag 2 BrE AmE noun

1 . a drag informal

a) something or someone that is boring:

Don’t be such a drag! Come to the party.

b) something that is annoying and continues for a long time:

It’s a real drag having to travel so far to work every day.

2 . be a drag on somebody/something to make it hard for someone to make progress towards what they want:

Any slowdown in the economy is going to be a drag on the President’s re-election campaign.

3 . [countable] the act of breathing in smoke from your cigarette:

Frank took a drag on his cigarette.

4 . in drag wearing clothes worn by the opposite sex, especially to entertain people:

The whole performance is done in drag.

5 . [uncountable] the force of air that pushes against an aircraft or a vehicle that is moving forward:

The car’s rounded edges reduce drag.

6 . the main drag American English informal the biggest or longest street that goes through a town:

Our hotel is right on the main drag.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.