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down-drag, n.


α. 18 down-drug (Sc.).

β. see down- prefix   and drag n.

(Show Less)
Origin: Formed within English, by derivation. Etymons: down- prefix, drag n.
Etymology: < down- prefix + drag n.
Compare earlier downdraught n. 1a   and slightly earlier downdraw n.
In α. forms   after drug v.1
orig. Sc.

  A person who or thing which drags or weighs someone or something down; a force directed downwards; a depressing influence; a burden. Also (and in earliest use): the condition of being dragged or weighed down. Cf. downdraught n. 1a.

1814   tr. S. Dach in Illustr. Northern Antiq. 429   Love in our hearts will wax..Thro' crosses and down-drug.
1865   D. Livingstone & C. Livingstone Narr. Exped. Zambesi 596   They must prove a down-drag, a moral millstone on the neck.
1898   Brit. Med. Jrnl. 4 June 1444/1   The uterine circulation can be controlled by a down drag exerted on the cervix.
1939   Lima (Ohio) News 5 Mar. 19 (advt.)    An exclusive new Full Fashioned Bustline that..banishes the down-drag that spoils so many smooth silhouettes.
1954   V. Cronin Golden Honeycomb xix. 213   The cathedral is more than a fine building; here,..the tower, a figure of transcendence, of grace resisting the down-drag, redeems the grey hovels.
1994   W. N. Herbert Forked Tongue 115   Aye til them that tak thi doon-drag oan; them that dallow i thi doggerlone o Poetese, ploutir amang sejoinit wurds.
2008   Federal News Service (Nexis) 28 Jan.   The president has to recognize that Iraq has been a real down-drag on our economy and on our military.

1814—2008(Hide quotations)


This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, December 2018).