Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The end of a web of cloth where it is secured to the loom and is therefore rough and unfinished and disfigured with holes. It is customary to allow purchasers to exclude it from the measurement of what they buy.
  • noun The latter or meaner part of anything; the very end: used in contempt.
  • noun Nautical, the untwisted end of a rope.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An end of poorer quality, or in a spoiled condition, as the coarser end of a web of cloth, the untwisted end of a rope, etc.
  • noun The refuse or meaner part of anything.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun last remnant
  • noun frayed end of a length of cloth or rope
  • noun The unsmoked end of a cigarette or cigar

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the frayed end of a length of cloth or rope
  • noun the time of the last part of something

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • Michael Chapman has pretty much ended up at the fag-end of his days as a quirky, unreliable bugger playing little pub gigs in odd places, although his talent's not diminished, it seems.

    Two ounces of black plastic with a hole in the middle

  • But you'd be wrong: this was the fag-end of the Clinton era, when Democrats were as mesmerised by financial markets as Republicans and the word "unregulated" was seen as go-ahead and exciting rather than worrying.

    Bankers and politicians have turned food into a betting game | Aditya Chakrabortty

  • They were part of a digression in a talk I gave to the 1970 Exeter conference on children’s literature, and if I’d realised then what a powder-keg I was throwing my fag-end of thought into I would have kept my trap shut.

    An essay by Peter Dickinson entitled 'A Defense of Rubbish'

  • Eurosport's coverage was a non-studio affair, reducing Wayne and Stewart to faceless voices and hurling us straight into the fag-end of the opening ceremony, which with London 2012 looming like an embarrassing family party, became unnaturally interesting.

    Gary Lineker's jokes have you itching for a touch of punk from Africa | Barney Ronay

  • But you'd be wrong: this was the fag-end of the Clinton era, when Democrats were as mesmerised by financial markets as Republicans and the word "unregulated" was seen as go-ahead and exciting rather than worrying.

    Bankers and politicians have turned food into a betting game | Aditya Chakrabortty

  • The follow-up, the equally good Unspoken, is set at the fag-end of the holiday season, and the colder climate is an apt setting for the bleakest of the novel's plot threads.

    April 2008

  • Our city lies in the midst of a desert of the purest—most unadulterated, and uncompromising sand—in which infernal soil nothing than that fag-end of vegetable creation, ‘sage-brush,’ ventures to grow.

    LIGHTING OUT FOR THE TERRITORY

  • Our city lies in the midst of a desert of the purest—most unadulterated, and uncompromising sand—in which infernal soil nothing than that fag-end of vegetable creation, ‘sage-brush,’ ventures to grow.

    LIGHTING OUT FOR THE TERRITORY

  • The follow-up, the equally good Unspoken, is set at the fag-end of the holiday season, and the colder climate is an apt setting for the bleakest of the novel's plot threads.

    Sunday Salon: heat and cold

  • The follow-up, the equally good Unspoken, is set at the fag-end of the holiday season, and the colder climate is an apt setting for the bleakest of the novel's plot threads.

    Sunday Salon: heat and cold

Comments

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  • See reef-point for a usage note. A Sea of Words: The last part or remnant; the end of a rope, especially a frayed end. (192)

    March 6, 2008

  • I thanked the magistrate for the abridgment of justice with which he had deigned to favour me, and was getting to the fag end of my compliment, when the muleteer arrived, with an attendant before and behind.

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 1 ch. 12

    September 12, 2008