Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A horse, especially.
  • noun An old or worn-out horse.
  • noun Slang A racehorse.
  • noun Archaic A small saddle horse or pony.
  • intransitive verb To annoy by constant scolding, complaining, or urging.
  • intransitive verb To torment persistently, as with anxiety or pain.
  • intransitive verb To scold, complain, or find fault constantly.
  • intransitive verb To be a constant source of anxiety or annoyance.
  • noun One who nags.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To nick; chip; slit.
  • To irritate or annoy with continued scolding, petty faultfinding, or urging; pester with continual complaints; torment; worry.
  • To scold pertinaciously; find fault constantly.
  • noun A horse, especially a poor or small horse.
  • noun A worthless person; as applied to a woman, a jade.
  • noun A nick; a notch.
  • noun A wooden ball used in the game of shinty or hockey.

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

  • verb colloq. To tease in a petty way; to scold habitually; to annoy; to fret pertinaciously.
  • noun A person who nags, especially habitually; called also nagger.
  • noun A small horse; a pony; hence, any horse, especially one that is of inferior breeding or useless.
  • noun obsolete A paramour; -- in contempt.

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

  • noun A small horse; a pony.
  • noun An old useless horse.
  • verb To repeatedly remind or complain to someone in an annoying way, often about insignificant matters.
  • verb To act inappropriately in the eyes of peers, to backstab, to verbally abuse.
  • verb To bother with persistent memories.
  • verb Other sorts of persistent annoyance, e.g.:
  • noun One who nags.

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

  • verb remind or urge constantly
  • noun someone (especially a woman) who annoys people by constantly finding fault
  • noun an old or over-worked horse
  • verb bother persistently with trivial complaints
  • verb worry persistently

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English nagge, possibly of Low German origin.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse gnaga, to bite, gnaw.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English nagge, cognate with Dutch negge

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Probably from a Scandinavian source; compare Swedish nagga ("to gnaw, grumble"), Danish nagge, Icelandic nagga ("to complain").

Examples

  • Cathy Gildiner -- the nag from the other side of the lake,

    Gildiner's Gospel

  • I had nine messages I needed to reply to, and six messages I need to print. 13 messages remained in my inbox that required action of some sort, which is a number I can live with and a realistic number of tasks to have in a short-term nag list.

    How I Cleaned 1328 Emails Out Of My Inbox In An Hour | Lifehacker Australia

  • Gee, and so far in my story, the main nag is the guy saying, “why can’t we call the cavalry to ride in?”

    Home is where the hero isn’t at SF Novelists

  • And if she continued to scream like a banshee into his ear—well, maybe that was partly in revenge for being called a nag.

    Primal Instincts

  • Sad thing about this is, that even in this day and age, there are people who can read and who probably watch the news now and then who will fall for this old nag, which is even older than the Nigerian Scam aka the 419 con.

    Lollipop, Lollipop - The Spanish Lottery

  • Thus far he had made do with the hard-mouthed bay that Hakim had called a nag, and an evil-tempered pack mule that pretended every shadow was a lion waiting to pounce and kept up a constant braying that strongly tempted Sabin to cut its wretched throat.

    The Falcons of Montabard

  • She would have been called a nag years ago, though that was politically incorrect, he knew.

    faceless

  • He exhibited what was known as the nag's head Swell in St. Magnus '

    The Recent Revolution in Organ Building Being an Account of Modern Developments

  • This Smiley had an animal which the boys called the nag of the quarter of hour, but solely for pleasantry, you comprehend, because, well understand, she was more fast as that!

    Sketches New And Old

  • This Smiley had an animal which the boys called the nag of the quarter of hour, but solely for pleasantry, you comprehend, because, well understand, she was more fast as that!

    Sketches New and Old, Part 1.

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