Definition of nagging in US English:



  • 1(of a person) constantly harassing someone to do something.

    ‘jokes about nagging wives and tyrannous mothers-in-law’
    • ‘Broke and reduced to living with his nagging aunt, Jamal gets the bright idea to put on a wig and falsies and join the women's league.’
    • ‘Most of the time I am completely unaware of its presence; it's so much better than a nagging or demanding spouse!’
    • ‘He's 38, unmarried and stuck in a very deep rut also inhabited by his nagging, humourless girlfriend Ruth and a cat he detests.’
    • ‘Would he have been considered a nagging husband because he felt he needed to further explain his position until he was certain I understood how much it meant to him?’
    • ‘She'd turned into a shrewish, nagging fishwife who carried five sets of clothes around for her kids should they happen to get dirty.’
    • ‘If you have a nagging boyfriend or girlfriend who spends too much of your money, this is a great one.’
    • ‘It is also deeply flawed by the lack of development of Charlotte's character - she is portrayed simply as a nagging harridan on the periphery of the story.’
    • ‘They can be there for a few days without the nagging spouse dragging them inexorably back to Monday morning.’
    • ‘Nagging wives are dragons only to their husbands.’
    • ‘There's the shrill nagging wife, the unbelievably smug former friend, the obnoxious bully and some tart in a negligee.’
    • ‘He said his nagging wife drove him to do it.’
    • ‘They've have been demoted to faceless, nagging bandmates leaving phone messages about an upcoming tour.’
    shrewish, complaining, grumbling, fault-finding, scolding, carping, cavilling, criticizing
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  • 2Persistently painful or worrying.

    ‘a nagging pain’
    ‘only a handful of nagging doubts remained’
    • ‘Yet, somehow, this time, he had a nagging suspicion that she very much wanted to outstay her welcome.’
    • ‘For simple difficulties, a quick word of advice is often just the thing to solve a nagging problem.’
    • ‘I know I have no reason to be concerned - but I still have that nagging feeling.’
    • ‘He has to fight off a nagging urge to throw his glass at the nearest wall.’
    • ‘The program ought to be required viewing for American schoolchildren - the next generation facing the nagging problems of race.’
    • ‘Usually no single event precipitates the nagging feeling of discontent.’
    • ‘Recent surgery for a nagging case of carpal tunnel syndrome was entirely successful.’
    • ‘If at any time you experience sharp or nagging pains, consult your physician immediately.’
    • ‘There was a nagging doubt, however, about the seaworthiness of these untested hulls.’
    • ‘Still there was a nagging question in her mind.’
    • ‘Things are much better now and just the nagging doubt remains.’
    • ‘He had a nagging feeling that all was not right with his youngest brother.’
    • ‘That actually could be a detriment because he suffers nagging injuries.’
    • ‘The answers to some of these nagging questions would lead me into my own investigation.’
    • ‘Along with the concept, there was this nagging feeling of nostalgia for the past.’
    • ‘I joined the team last year for the first time, despite a prolonged nagging illness.’
    • ‘And they burn candles and even bathe here, believing the spirits will cure them of nagging ailments.’
    • ‘A nagging wrist injury deprived her the chance of a debut in the world tournament which was then held in Belgium in the year 2000.’
    • ‘This adds another troublesome dimension to this nagging environmental problem.’
    • ‘One of the major culprits in building up tensions is the nagging thought of the accumulated small jobs put off from day to day.’
    persistent, continuous, lingering, niggling, troublesome, unrelenting, unremitting, unabating
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