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Webster 1913 Edition


Wag

Wag

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Wagged
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Wagging
.]
[OE.
waggen
; probably of Scand. origin; cf. Sw.
vagga
to rock a cradle,
vagga
cradle, Icel.
vagga
, Dan.
vugge
; akin to AS.
wagian
to move, wag,
wegan
to bear, carry, G. & D. be
wegen
to move, and E.
weigh
. √136. See
Weigh
.]
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;
as, to
wag
the head
.
No discerner durst
wag
his tongue in censure.
Shakespeare
Every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and
wag
his head.
Jer. xviii. 16.
Wag expresses specifically the motion of the head and body used in buffoonery, mirth, derision, sport, and mockery.

Wag

,
Verb.
I.
1.
To move one way and the other; to be shaken to and fro; to vibrate.
The resty sieve
wagged
ne’er the more.
Dryden.
2.
To be in action or motion; to move; to get along; to progress; to stir.
[Colloq.]
“Thus we may see,” quoth he, “how the world
wags
.”
Shakespeare
3.
To go; to depart; to pack oft.
[R.]
I will provoke him to 't, or let him
wag
.
Shakespeare

Wag

,
Noun.
[From
Wag
,
Verb.
]
1.
The act of wagging; a shake;
as, a
wag
of the head
.
[Colloq.]
2.
[Perhaps shortened from
wag-halter
a rogue.]
A man full of sport and humor; a ludicrous fellow; a humorist; a wit; a joker.
We wink at
wags
when they offend.
Dryden.
A counselor never pleaded without a piece of pack thread in his hand, which he used to twist about a finger all the while he was speaking; the
wags
used to call it the thread of his discourse.
Addison.

Webster 1828 Edition


Wag

WAG

,
Verb.
T.
To move one way and the other with quick turns; to move a little way, and then turn the other way; as, to wag the head.
Every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head. Jer. 18. Matt 27. [Wag expresses particulary the motion of the head and body used in buffoonery, mirth, derision, sport and mockery. It is applied also to birds and beasts; as, to wag the tail.]

WAG

,
Verb.
I.
1.
To be quick in ludicrous motion; to stir.
Tis merry in hall, where beards wag all.
Tremble and start at wagging of a straw.
2.
To go; to depart; to pack offf.
I will provoke him tot, or let him wag.
3.
To be moved one way and the other.
The resty sieve waggd neer the more.

WAG

,
Noun.
A droll; a man full of low sport and humor; a ludicrous fellow.
We wink at wags, when they offend.
The counselor never pleaded without a piece of packthread in his hand, which he used to twist about his finger all the while he was speaking; the wags used to call it the thread of his discourse.

Definition 2021


wag

wag

See also: WAG and wäg

English

Verb

wag (third-person singular simple present wags, present participle wagging, simple past and past participle wagged)

  1. To swing from side to side, such as of an animal's tail, or someone's head, to express disagreement or disbelief.
    • Shakespeare
      No discerner durst wag his tongue in censure.
    • Bible, Jer. xviii. 16
      Every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head.
  2. (Britain, Australia, slang) To play truant from school.
    • 1848, Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son, xxii
      "My misfortunes all began in wagging, Sir; but what could I do, exceptin' wag?" "Excepting what?" said Mr. Carker. "Wag, Sir. Wagging from school." "Do you mean pretending to go there, and not going?" said Mr. Carker. "Yes, Sir, that's wagging, Sir."
    • 1901, William Sylvester Walker, In the Blood, i. 13
      They had "wagged it" from school, as they termed it, which..meant truancy in all its forms.
  3. (obsolete) To be in action or motion; to move; to get along; to progress; to stir.
    • Shakespeare
      "Thus we may see," quoth he, "how the world wags."
  4. (obsolete) To go; to depart.
    • Shakespeare
      I will provoke him to 't, or let him wag.

Coordinate terms

  • (swing from side to side): nod, no

Derived terms

  • (to not go to school): play the wag; hop the wag; wag it
  • to finger-wag

Translations

See also

Noun

wag (plural wags)

  1. An oscillating movement.
    The wag of my dog's tail expresses happiness.
  2. A witty person.

Translations

See also

  • skivitis

References

Anagrams


Afrikaans

Etymology 1

From Dutch wacht, from Middle Dutch wachte, from Old Dutch wahta (watch, sentry, guard), from Proto-Germanic *wahtwō (watch, vigil).

Noun

wag (plural wagte)

  1. guard
Derived terms
  • waghou

Etymology 2

From Dutch wachten, from Middle Dutch wachten (to watch, guard, keep watch, wait), from Old Dutch *wahton, derived from wahta.

Verb

wag (present wag, present participle wagtende, past participle gewag)

  1. to wait

German

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /vaːk/
  • Rhymes: -aːk

Verb

wag

  1. Imperative singular of wagen.
  2. (colloquial) First-person singular present of wagen.