Main definitions of lag in English

: lag1lag2lag3

lag1

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1Fail to keep up with another or others in movement or development.

    ‘they waited for Tim who was lagging behind’
    • ‘High telephone charges means that British companies lag behind their American counterparts, he says.’
    • ‘Customization seems to be one area where Google will lag behind its rivals.’
    • ‘Clearly, New Zealand is lagging behind in failing to encourage more flexible working conditions for employees, especially when their children are young, and that is why I have drafted this bill.’
    • ‘But the report notes that Africa lags behind the rest of the world.’
    • ‘By lawmakers' own admission, Ireland lagged woefully behind its Western counterparts when they introduced adoption legislation in 1952.’
    • ‘But lesbians are still lagging far behind the general female populace in getting physical examinations, she said.’
    • ‘And the law is always reactive and lagging behind social developments.’
    • ‘The President said the bridge would boost the economy on Madura island, which has been largely untouched by development, lagging behind other regions in Indonesia.’
    • ‘The MPs assured the President of continued support in the fight against corruption and poverty adding that if the vices were not eradicated the country will continue lagging behind in development.’
    • ‘People tend to think that Scotland is lagging behind other countries in the adoption of e-business.’
    • ‘This parameter also determines the ability of the mouse to follow very rapid movements without lagging behind or making mistakes in the coordinates.’
    • ‘We view stratocladistics as still in an early stage of development, with implementation lagging behind concept.’
    • ‘But Hispanics continue to lag well behind the rest of the labor market in wages.’
    • ‘The nuclear development is lagging behind the cytoplasmic maturation.’
    • ‘For many years naval officers' pay lagged well behind that of Army officers.’
    • ‘He said the ministry will enter into dialogue with the provincial education officer and teachers so that they could continue teaching classes to avoid the affected children lagging behind in lessons.’
    • ‘Other economic development is lagging behind.’
    • ‘Based on these criteria, many countries are still lagging far behind.’
    • ‘I can tell the Labour members why they are lagging in the polls.’
    • ‘By 1936 RCA's research and development department was lagging behind Farnsworth in terms of screen size and sharpness of image.’
    fall behind, straggle, fall back, trail, trail behind, linger, dally, dawdle, hang back, delay, move slowly, loiter, drag one's feet, take one's time, not keep pace, idle, dither, saunter, bring up the rear
    View synonyms
  • 2North American Billiards

    another term for string (sense 6 of the verb)

noun

  • 1A period of time between one event and another.

    ‘a time lag between infection and symptoms’
    • ‘The latter depends critically on the time lag between environmental change and biotic responses to that environmental change.’
    • ‘Back in the old days, the time lag was considerably longer.’
    • ‘And yes, there is a time lag of several days before new entries appear.’
    • ‘During range expansions, a lag phase often precedes rapid population growth.’
    • ‘China links domestic prices for crude oil and refined products to international prices, adjusted after a one-month lag.’
    • ‘The IR blaster solution worked well, except for a slight lag in remote control response.’
    • ‘Furthermore, both effects seem to operate with short lags.’
    • ‘General conclusions are that surface dyslexia represents a delay or developmental lag in acquiring literacy skills.’
    • ‘Friedman points to variable lags between changes in money supply growth that determine the impact upon real output and prices.’
    • ‘Faced with a simultaneously growing publication lag, the Journal necessarily tightened its standards.’
    • ‘Two phases of content leakage are observed: a lag phase and a burst phase.’
    • ‘There may be a long time lag between the time of damage and the appearance of clinical signs.’
    • ‘The publication lag, from time of manuscript acceptance to appearance in print, is slightly more than two months.’
    • ‘What one does not know is the time lag between changes in past performance and changes in expected future returns.’
    • ‘Running applications and playing games were a breeze, with no noticeable lag.’
    • ‘As I've already mentioned, there seems to be a short lag of about one second though.’
    • ‘Actual figures will not be available until about June because of the time lag in collating the information from different operators.’
    • ‘The lag in the climate response is both a boon and a problem for policy-makers.’
    • ‘Studies of the chemical industry in 2000 indicate a lag period of seven years.’
    • ‘He explained that there may be a time lag between the creation of a favourable entrepreneurial environment and the emergence of an entrepreneurial class.’
  • 2Physics
    A retardation in an electric current or movement.

    • ‘With a longitudinal bias field, there was a lag of about 3.5 ns as the magnetization responded to the switching pulse.’

Origin

Early 16th century (as a noun in the sense ‘hindmost person in a game, race, etc.’, also ‘dregs’): related to the dialect adjective lag (perhaps from a fanciful distortion of last, or of Scandinavian origin: compare with Norwegian dialect lagga ‘go slowly’).

Pronunciation

lag

/laɡ/

Main definitions of lag in English

: lag1lag2lag3

lag2

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Enclose or cover (a boiler, pipes, etc.) with material that provides heat insulation.

    ‘all pipes and tanks in the attic should be lagged’
    ‘a lagged hot-water tank’
    • ‘It was a common practice at many industrial factories to lag pipes with asbestos, Mr Conyers-Kelly points out.’
    • ‘Yet Roger's death warrant was probably signed decades ago when he served on submarines in the 1960s and 1970s, at a time when asbestos was widely used to lag pipes.’
    • ‘Mr Sharp worked on steam ships HMS Juno and HMS Phoebe during his military service. Pipes in both warships were lagged with asbestos material.’
    • ‘You can fit a three-inch insulating jacket and lag the pipes for as little as £10.’
    • ‘The charity also recommends checking all pipes are properly lagged, all electric fires are guarded, and paraffin heaters are out of draughts.’
    • ‘Ensure your hot water cylinder and pipes are lagged.’
    • ‘Other applications of aluminum include control tubing, tanks, covers, boiler lagging, jacketing, panels, and canopies.’
    • ‘However, these pipes could easily be buried underground and where they come to the surface they could be lagged so as to prevent freezing.’
    • ‘And why is there no mention of the historical significance of asbestos insulation used to lag the steam boilers?’
    • ‘They advise checking, and lagging all exposed pipes, keeping buildings heated and draining exposed pipes.’
    • ‘Cheap and fireproof, it was an all-purpose insulator used to lag buildings, railway carriages, even ironing boards.’
    • ‘The Highways Agency said today that the material had not been used to lag the pipe, but dumped on the land at some time in the past, possibly before the full dangers of asbestos were known.’
    • ‘So dump the SUV, tell your kids to walk to school, turn down the central heating, insulate the attic, take shorter showers, use CFL bulbs and lag the hot water tank.’
    • ‘Customers are being advised to lag water pipes in homes and businesses as a precaution against the icy period, so if pipes burst it will save water and damage to properties.’
    • ‘They used preformed sections in a semi-circular shape to lag pipe work.’
    • ‘For individual householders, this can means something as simple as lagging the boiler.’
    • ‘Uncovered pipes were lagged and eventually removed altogether in 1986 as regulations were tightened.’
    • ‘Fellow employee Alfred Smith said pipes at the factory were lagged with material containing a white, powdery substance.’

Main definitions of lag in English

: lag1lag2lag3

lag3

noun

British
informal
  • A person who has been frequently convicted and sent to prison.

    ‘both old lags were sentenced to ten years' imprisonment’
    • ‘Operational reasons, old lags will recall, is British policespeak for ‘I'm not going to tell you,’ while one million is policespeak for two million.’
    • ‘It is partly because of old lags enjoying favours from prison officers that the murderer is at large, four other men having been wrongly convicted.’
    • ‘Which is probably the result of form that would shame any old prison lag.’
    • ‘If Ian McGeechan was hoping that this tour would build some genuine team spirit and confidence amongst the mixture of old lags and tyros who made up the Scotland test side yesterday, then he was sorely mistaken.’
    • ‘Well, I guess they would not be lags, because lags would have been given custodial sentences.’
    • ‘You can see why Hoskins might nurse an affinity for Rififi, which is as hard-boiled as a 10-minute egg and home to a rogues' gallery of old lags who know all the angles.’
    • ‘It matters not one jot that old lags like Spedding, the great Paul Thompson and producer Rhett Davies are along for the ride.’
    • ‘The lags at Full Sutton jail near York are all sorted.’
    • ‘Be this as it may, the old lags could not have been more friendly to this distinctly new Labourish apparition.’
    • ‘In order to find out, he stuck 18 volunteers in a mock prison, arbitrarily making them either lags or screws.’
    • ‘What's next, jailhouse pubs and brothels for the lags?’
    • ‘He is not a politician with a career to revive, who stepped up to the brief what seems to us old lags like a few short weeks ago.’
    • ‘In Westminster, old lags used to tell rookie MPs to remember that, while they were attacking the opposition benches, their real enemies were right behind them.’
    • ‘Watson's fellow old lags who were released at the same time lined up outside the prison to tell anyone who would listen that the disgraced peer was not much of a hit on the inside.’
    • ‘Throughout the present brief, Microsoft protests its innocence with as much conviction as an old lag before a magistrate.’
    • ‘He could have handled prison, he thinks, because he gets on with everybody but, who knows, he could have run into some old lags who hated the Rollers.’
    • ‘Carandiru is more measured, and even stately, in the way its old lags - fundamentally respectful - troop through the doctor's infirmary and recount their autobiographies.’
    • ‘The Home Office has rejected plans to give lags access to the internet and email while doing porridge.’
    • ‘It's a straightforward, unimaginative slasher picture about a serial killer convict, one Leo Rook, who kills off warders and fellow lags one by one when they are marooned on a lighthouse.’
    • ‘The tiny fledgling local police in the Maranoa prior to the Native squads were mostly lonely, frightened old lags, who became drinking mates of the offending stockmen, says Collins.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]British
informal, archaic
  • Arrest or send to prison.

    ‘they were nearly lagged by the constables’

Origin

Late 19th century: from earlier lag ‘piece of insulating cover’<br>late 16th century (as a verb in the sense ‘carry off, steal’): of unknown origin. Current senses date from the 19th century.

Pronunciation

lag

/laɡ/