American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To move briskly and repeatedly from side to side, to and fro, or up and down.
- v. To move rapidly in talking. Used of the tongue.
- v. To walk with a clumsy sway; waddle.
- v. Archaic To be on one's way; depart.
- v. To move (a body part) rapidly from side to side or up and down, as in playfulness, agreement, admonition, or chatter.
- n. The act or motion of wagging: a farewell wag of the hand.
- n. A humorous or droll person; a wit.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To cause to move up and down, backward and forward, or from side to side, alternately, as a small body jointed or attached to, or connected with, a larger one; cause to move one way or another, as on a pivot or joint, or on or from something by which the body moved is supported; cause to shake, oscillate, or vibrate slightly. From the quick, jerky, or abrupt motion indicated by the word, an idea of playful, sportive, mocking, scornful, or derisive motion is associated with it in certain phrases: as, to
wag the heador the finger.
- To nudge.
- To move backward and forward, up and down, or from side to side, alternately, as if connected with a larger body by a joint. pivot, or any flexible or loose attachment; oscillate; sway or swing; vibrate: an arrow is said to wag when it vibrates in the air.
- To be in motion or action; make progress; continue a course or career; stir.
- To move on or away; be off; depart; pack off; be gone.
- n. The act of wagging; a shake; an oscillation.
- n. One who is given to joking or jesting; a witty or humorous person; one full of sport and humor; a droll fellow. The word seems formerly to have been applied to a person who indulged in coarse, low, or broad humor, or buffoonery, as a practical joker.
- n. A fellow: used with a shade of meaning sometimes slurring, sometimes affectionate, but without any attribution of humor or pleasantry.
- v. To swing from side to side, especially of an animal's tail
- v. slang To not go to school, either for a class or classes or the entire school day.
- n. An oscillating movement.
- n. A witty person.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To move one way and the other with quick turns; to shake to and fro; to move vibratingly; to cause to vibrate, as a part of the body.
- v. To move one way and the other; to be shaken to and fro; to vibrate.
- v. colloq. To be in action or motion; to move; to get along; to progress; to stir.
- v. rare To go; to depart; to pack oft.
- n. colloq. The act of wagging; a shake.
- n. A man full of sport and humor; a ludicrous fellow; a humorist; a wit; a joker.
- n. causing to move repeatedly from side to side
- v. move from side to side
- n. a witty amusing person who makes jokes
- Middle English waggen, noun wagge, feminine root of Old English waian, (Middle English noun wae) to oscillate, shake. Compare the Old English verb waġian (Wiktionary)
- Middle English waggen; see wegh- in Indo-European roots.Perhaps from wag1. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“At the moment, therefore, the description of "CAP of the sky" attributed by an anonymous wag, is looking to be all too appropriate.”
“Diehard Conservatives in the US may have loved him, but he gave new meaning to the terms wag the dog and political spin doctoring.”
“Perhaps Selwyn might have been called a "wag" -- a name given to men who were more enterprising than successful in their humour, and which referred originally to mere ludicrous motion.”
“Your characters and my characters would get along find should they ever cross paths – they’d just be able to sit and chin wag!”
“One, who can only be described as a wag, attempted to do so by defining each word as follows:”
“Telephone for Boston Bean," called the wag of an office boy.”
“I find I'm mistaken," called the wag, down the table.”
“Hi Tom, I never knew if the wag was the school board man or the school! just knew if I skipped school without Mum knowing and she alway, always found out, call it Mothers sixth sense .. even before I confessed and had to ask for a note for the teacher because in the old days as well we all know it had to be supplied first day back at school ... if pushed Mum would write down 'I poor suffering child had another bilious attack' which went down reasonably well with the teacher until she asked me what it was ...”
“Gen. Larry Nicholson flew in for a commanders 'meeting at Camp Delhi today, he was asked to bring with him a fresh supply of plastic "wag" bags that Marines use to dispose of human waste.”
“Gen. Larry Nicholson flew in for a commanders' meeting at Camp Delhi today, he was asked to bring with him a fresh supply of plastic "wag" bags that Marines use to dispose of human waste.”
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