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’
    • ‘He's 38, unmarried and stuck in a very deep rut also inhabited by his nagging, humourless girlfriend Ruth and a cat he detests.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Nagging wives are dragons only to their husbands.’
    • ‘They've have been demoted to faceless, nagging bandmates leaving phone messages about an upcoming tour.’
    • ‘There's the shrill nagging wife, the unbelievably smug former friend, the obnoxious bully and some tart in a negligee.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘He said his nagging wife drove him to do it.’
    • ‘She'd turned into a shrewish, nagging fishwife who carried five sets of clothes around for her kids should they happen to get dirty.’
    • ‘They can be there for a few days without the nagging spouse dragging them inexorably back to Monday morning.’
    • ‘Most of the time I am completely unaware of its presence; it's so much better than a nagging or demanding spouse!’
    • ‘If you have a nagging boyfriend or girlfriend who spends too much of your money, this is a great one.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
    • ‘If at any time you experience sharp or nagging pains, consult your physician immediately.’
    • ‘The answers to some of these nagging questions would lead me into my own investigation.’
    • ‘And they burn candles and even bathe here, believing the spirits will cure them of nagging ailments.’
    • ‘Things are much better now and just the nagging doubt remains.’
    • ‘For simple difficulties, a quick word of advice is often just the thing to solve a nagging problem.’
    • ‘Along with the concept, there was this nagging feeling of nostalgia for the past.’
    • ‘The program ought to be required viewing for American schoolchildren - the next generation facing the nagging problems of race.’
    • ‘Yet, somehow, this time, he had a nagging suspicion that she very much wanted to outstay her welcome.’
    • ‘This adds another troublesome dimension to this nagging environmental problem.’
    • ‘There was a nagging doubt, however, about the seaworthiness of these untested hulls.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Still there was a nagging question in her mind.’
    • ‘He had a nagging feeling that all was not right with his youngest brother.’
    • ‘I know I have no reason to be concerned - but I still have that nagging feeling.’
    • ‘Usually no single event precipitates the nagging feeling of discontent.’
    • ‘He has to fight off a nagging urge to throw his glass at the nearest wall.’
    • ‘Recent surgery for a nagging case of carpal tunnel syndrome was entirely successful.’
    • ‘One of the major culprits in building up tensions is the nagging thought of the accumulated small jobs put off from day to day.’
    • ‘I joined the team last year for the first time, despite a prolonged nagging illness.’
    • ‘That actually could be a detriment because he suffers nagging injuries.’
    persistent, continuous, lingering, niggling, troublesome, unrelenting, unremitting, unabating
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