Main definitions of wag in English

: wag1wag2

wag1

Pronunciation /waɡ/ /wæɡ/

Translate wag into Spanish

verbwags, wagging, wagged

  • 1(with reference to an animal's tail) move or cause to move rapidly to and fro.

    no object ‘his tail began to wag’
    • ‘the dog went out, wagging its tail’
    • ‘Then I come back, and the tails wag so hard that it begins with the middle of their dog bodies.’
    • ‘Apparently tails are wagging over the show, as it has been renewed for another season.’
    • ‘The climbers soon ski up to us, red plastic sleds wagging like tails behind them.’
    • ‘I collect the morning paper and my two mutts greet me, their tails wagging back and forth in a frenzy.’
    • ‘The puppy sniffed his hand cautiously and immediately his tail began to wag.’
    • ‘When my eyes meet hers, her tail starts to wag excitedly, but she dares not move her body in fear of spoiling the moment.’
    • ‘The Carmichaels walk down the path with three other dogs, their skeletal tails wagging furiously.’
    • ‘Lucy was waiting by the door, tail wagging as always when we got home.’
    • ‘Kero got up, tongue hanging from the side of his mouth as he pranced over to her, his small tail wagging back and forth rapidly.’
    • ‘Her tail began to wag as he approached, and he cautiously dropped onto one knee before reaching to untangle her leash.’
    • ‘Diane barks and wags her bushy tail in happiness as she jumps on Louis Crawford's lap in the van and she licks his face with love and a little slobber.’
    • ‘You can see quite clearly when the puppy is wagging its tail.’
    • ‘At the sight of us, they all begin to bark, tails wagging in instant happiness.’
    • ‘And now Fizz is about to set tails wagging having been nominated for the Woman's Best Friend award in a canine competition.’
    • ‘Poppy's tail was wagging at a rate only expected at top international competition level, so I knew that whatever it was, it was an animal.’
    • ‘His tail began to wag as I scratched behind his ears.’
    • ‘Rex bounded back the way he had come, tail wagging.’
    • ‘Her tail wagged rapidly as she licked Kourin's face.’
    • ‘Family dog greets me with tail wagging manically.’
    • ‘And in the meantime, Chuck is going bananas, his tail wagging like a crazed propeller, his face the most precious combination of anticipation and curiosity.’
    1. 1.1with object Move (an upward-pointing finger) from side to side to signify a warning or reprimand.
      ‘she wagged a finger at Elinor’
      • ‘The others looked at him, and he raised one hand to wag an index finger under Kaeritha's nose.’
      • ‘Instead wag a disapproving finger at the bull run in commodities.’
      • ‘Siya pretended to be disappointed and wagged her finger at Mel.’
      • ‘News outlets shake their heads and wag a disappointed finger when violence erupts in our streets yet the entertainment industry uses those same elements as a mainstay for its Friday night feature.’
      • ‘He wagged his finger at her in mock disapproval.’
      • ‘The mother started screaming, and moving towards me, she was wagging her finger in my face and I thought she was going to hit me.’
      • ‘‘Suit yourself,’ Howie said, wagging a finger in admonishment as he moved away.’
      • ‘He made a flourished bow and then humorously wagged his finger in response to her question.’
      • ‘I left people with a little something to think about, without wagging my fingers or quoting Leviticus.’
      • ‘Friedman wags an accusing finger at subsidised theatres such as the National.’
      • ‘He even went to Wall Street to wag his finger at corporate wrongdoers, calling for legislative reform.’
      • ‘He was shown gesticulating toward the judge, and at times wagging his finger angrily.’
      • ‘I am wagging my finger in your direction Democrats and Republicans!’
      • ‘In friendly jest, one of the waiters came up to her and wagged his finger gently, indicating that the establishment did not approve.’
      • ‘People within banks have access to lots of information, and those who wagged the finger at Mr Soden last year should hope they don't make enemies within their bank.’
      • ‘‘That's not how you behave on the dancefloor,’ she says, wagging her finger.’
      • ‘I can't recall ever seeing so many people wagging a figurative finger at Tom as they have in response to his call for the resignation of Harvard president Larry Summers.’
      • ‘Angry and wagging his finger at presenter Jon Snow, Mr Campbell tears into a ‘fundamental attack upon the integrity of the government’.’
      • ‘When I first told them a couple of years ago, I really expected my grandma to wag her finger at me.’
      • ‘"Not just once," said Palios, wagging a finger at Barry.’
    2. 1.2no object (used of a tongue, jaw, or chin, as representing a person) talk, especially in order to gossip or spread rumors.
      ‘this is a small island, and tongues are beginning to wag’
      • ‘Today an update on the shirtless shopper incident that has got quite a few chins wagging and a lot of discussion about what is acceptable and what is not in the way of dress in public.’
      • ‘I think I'll silence that wagging tongue of hers right now!’
      • ‘It was the presence of retired and pregnant singer Sinead O'Connor on stage with Damien Dempsey that got chins wagging.’

noun

  • A single rapid movement from side to side.

    ‘a chirpy wag of the head’
    • ‘She looked up at him sadly, acknowledging his gesture with a half wag of her tail.’
    • ‘No matter how many Chechens may be slaughtered, we content ourselves with a polite wag of the finger, shrug our shoulders, then concede that massacre is an internal matter.’
    • ‘But the crowning glory is when the pointer turns around and gives an approving look and tail wag before he trots off to pick up another bird.’
    • ‘Nikko broke the silence with a small whine and a wag of his tail.’
    swing, sway, shake, swish, switch, quiver, twitch, flutter, waver, whip, oscillation, vibration, undulation
    waggle, wiggle, wobble, wave, shake, flourish, brandish
    View synonyms

Phrases

    how the world wags
    dated
    • How affairs are going or being conducted.

      ‘there is no very good theory of how the world wags these days’
      • ‘And because we know that this is how the world wags - that even the least networked of us is connected to everyone if he is connected to at least one other person.’
      • ‘The second stage knows how the world wags but not why.’
      • ‘I want you to be curious about how the world wags its tail in different lands.’
      • ‘I have a vivid recollection of having in an evil or unguarded moment promised to do that which my soul abhors - to write a letter informing you how the world wags here below.’
      • ‘If you want to know how the world wags, and who's wagging it, here's your answer.’

Origin

Middle English (as a verb): from the Germanic base of Old English wagian ‘to sway’.

Main definitions of wag in English

: wag1wag2

wag2

Pronunciation /waɡ/ /wæɡ/

Translate wag into Spanish

noun

  • 1A person who makes jokes; a joker.

    • ‘one wag shouted, ‘On that count you've got about three supporters!’’
    humorist, comedian, comedienne, comic, funny man, funny woman, wag, wit, jester
    View synonyms
  • 2Australian, New Zealand informal A person who plays truant.

    • ‘Boogie plays the wag from school’

transitive verbwags, wagging, wagged

[with object]informal Australian, New Zealand
  • Play truant from (school).

Origin

Mid 16th century (denoting a young man or mischievous boy, also used as a term of endearment to an infant): probably from obsolete waghalter ‘person likely to be hanged’ (see wag, halter).