Pronunciation Verb

wag (wags, present participle wagging; 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.
    • 1613, William Shakespeare; [John Fletcher], “The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene i]:
      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. (UK, 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; progress.
    • 1623, William Shakespeare, As You Like It Act II
      "Thus we may see," quoth he, "how the world wags."
  4. (obsolete) To go; to depart.
Translations Translations
  • French: sécher, faire l’école buissonnière
  • German: schwänzen
  • Italian: marinare la scuola
  • Portuguese: vaguear
  • Russian: прогу́ливать

wag (plural wags)

  1. An oscillating movement.
    The wag of my dog's tail expresses happiness.
  2. A witty person.
  • Italian: scodinzolio
  • Russian: виля́ние
  • Russian: шутни́к

Pronunciation Noun

wag (plural wags)

  1. (informal, business or military slang, US) A wild-assed guess; a rough estimate.
  2. (informal) A wife or girlfriend of a sports star or other celebrity, originally and especially of an association football player.
    • 2006, Lucy Rock, The Observer, 2 July 2006 (p.20)
      The World Cup WAGs are a good example of this. The younger girls, nicknamed the ‘hen-night crowd’ and led by Colleen McLoughlin, dance on tables and drink until the early hours while No. 1 WAG Victoria Beckham remains aloof, dining sedately with Ashley Cole’s fiancee, Cheryl Tweedy.
    • 2006, Emma Cowing, The Scotsman, 4 July 2006:
      In Wimbledon, the tennis WAGs and - just as excitingly - HABs (Husbands and Boyfriends) have been appearing courtside, enthusiastically cheering on their beloved other halves with a degree of style.

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