drag

Definitions

General English

Aviation

  • noun the resistance of the air created by moving the aircraft through the air

Cars & Driving

  • noun a characteristic of a car body, indicating the resistance which the body offers to the airstream.
  • verb to fail to come off completely when the brake pedal is released

Computing

  • verb to move a mouse while holding the button down, so moving an image or icon on screen

Construction

  • A long, serrated plate used to level and score plaster in preparation for the next coat.
  • Any combination of logs, chains, or other materials dragged behind a tractor to fine-grade earth.

Cricket

  • noun a cross-batted stroke resembling the pull
    Citation ‘On this type of wicket the drag or short arm pull is largely utilized … to any ball short of a length’ (Warwick Armstrong, The Art of Cricket 1922)
  • noun back spin imparted to the ball by the bowler, causing it to lose pace, or ‘hang’, after pitching
    Citation ‘The two other spins which can be put on the ball are what have been called the drag (or back spin) and top spin’ (Cricket (Badminton Library 1920 edn))
  • verb to hit across the line of the ball making a sort of extended pull shot
    Citation ‘When he bowled wide of the off-stump, Old dragged him to long-on’ (Brearley 1982)
    Citation ‘The asking rate was less than three when Pietersen dragged a Yuvraj Singh delivery down to deep midwicket’ (Dileep Premachandran, Cricinfo Magazine May 2006)
  • verb to play the ball on to one’s stumps while attempting to execute a scoring stroke
    Citation ‘Vishwanath had dragged on, trying to square cut Botham’ (Berry 1982)
    Citation ‘Hayden might have nicked half a dozen deliveries either side of lunch yesterday, and twice almost dragged pull shots onto his stumps’ (Haigh 2005)
  • verb (of a bowler) to keep the back foot in contact with the ground at the moment of delivery, drawing it along the surface and beyond the bowling crease, thus effectively reducing the length of the pitch
    Citation ‘Larwood opened the bowling to Woodfull and was “called” first ball for dragging over the crease’ (Melbourne Argus 21 November 1932)
  • verb to impart back spin to the ball when bowling

Electronics

  • That which retards motion or action. For instance, a retarding force acting on a body.
  • In a GUI, to move an object from one location of a display screen to another. text, images, files, and the such may be dragged by using a pointing device such as a mouse or stylus, or through keyboard commands.
  • To use a mouse to select text or objects. For instance, to click and hold down a mouse button to select a block of text.

Media Studies

  • noun the clothing of the opposite sex used as a costume for performances, most usually used to refer to glamorous and ostentatious female clothing worn by males

Military

  • noun a natural force which slows down a flying object

Slang

  • noun women’s clothing, as worn by men, especially homosexuals, transvestites or female impersonators. Originally theatrical slang of the early 20th century in Britain, signifying a long dress (dragging along the ground), the phrase ‘in drag’ crossed into popular terminology in the early 1960s. In the case of women wearing masculine clothing, ‘man-drag’ or ‘male-drag’ is usually specified.
  • noun a thing, event or person considered to be boring or depressing. An Americanism, probably originating in the late 19th century and remaining in marginal use until the 1960s, it was adopted into teenage currency in Britain and Australia in the late 1950s and was widespread by the mid-1960s.
  • noun a street, especially a long or important street, usually in the form main drag. This Americanism gave rise to ‘drag racing’ to describe unofficial races from a standing start over a short, straight stretch of public road. Drag racing is now also an organised sport run over custom-built private ‘dragstrips’.

Sports

  • noun the resistance experienced by a body moving through a fluid medium, especially by a swimmer when travelling through the water

Origin & History of “drag”

Drag has two possible sources, each with equally plausible claims: Old English dragan, source of modern English draw, or the related Old Norse draga. both go back to a common Germanic source. Of the modern colloquial applications of the word, ‘women’s clothes worn by men’ seems to have originated in 19th-century theatrical slang, in reference to the ‘dragging’ of a woman’s long skirts along the ground (an unusual sensation for someone used to wearing trousers).
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