Meaning of WAG in English


I. ˈwag, -aa(ə)g, -aig verb

( wagged ; wagged ; wagging ; wags )

Etymology: Middle English waggen; akin to Old Norse vagga cradle, Swedish vagga to rock, Middle High German wacken to totter; akin to Old English wagian to move, swing, totter, Old High German wagōn to move, surge, Old Norse vaga to wag; akin to Old English wegan to move — more at way

intransitive verb

1. : to be in action or motion : move , stir

see … how the world wags — Shakespeare

2. : to move to and fro or up and down especially repeatedly and with a quick or jerky motion : oscillate , switch , waggle , wave , wigwag

3. : to keep moving in chatter or gossip

his tongue wags incessantly

beards wagged throughout the scientific world — Webb Garrison

heads wagged for a time — Louis Bromfield

his lips were still wagging — Time


a. archaic : to move from a place : pack off : depart

wag to town

b. archaic : to wander from place to place : travel

c. slang : to play truant from school

the school we both attended — when not wagging it — Sydney (Australia) Bulletin


a. : to move with a wagging or wobbling motion : waddle

a dog wagging down the street

b. of an animal : to wag the tail

a pack of dogs — they fawned, they wagged, they growled — Helen Howe

transitive verb


a. archaic : move , stir , budge

b. dialect : to carry or haul with difficulty : lug

wag groceries home in a cart

a small child … compelled to wag her baby brother around with her — Theodore Garrison


a. : to swing to and fro or up and down especially repeatedly and with a quick or jerky motion : shake , switch , wave

ducks … nonchalantly wagging their tails — Edmund Wilson

formation leaders have telegraphed their dive attacks by wagging their wings before coming in — Keith Ayling

naval vessels … would be wagging and hoisting flags and blinking lights at one another — Gavin Douglas

specifically : to nod (the head) or shake (a finger) at (as in assent or mild reproof)

don't wag your finger at me

b. : to move (as the head) animatedly in conversation

a scandalous event that set the villagers to wagging their tongues

a theory for philosophers to wag their heads over — Henry Bordeaux

3. : to strongly influence or exert control over (a related thing) out of proportion to size or true importance

the tail wags the dog

instances … in which the choirs are wagging the church — Maurice Thompson

II. noun

( -s )

: an act of wagging : nod

a wag of the head

III. noun

( -s )

Etymology: probably short for obsolete waghalter gallows bird, from wag (I) + halter

1. obsolete

a. : a mischievous boy

b. : a young man : chap

2. : one full of sport and humor : wit , jester , joker

we wink at wags when they offend — John Dryden

many of the most celebrated wags of history — E.J.Kahn

IV. abbreviation

wagon; wagoner

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.