lag behind


1 [lag]
verb (used without object), lagged, lagging.
to fail to maintain a desired pace or to keep up; fall or stay behind: After five minutes of hard running, some of them began to lag.
to move or develop slowly, as toward a goal or objective, or in relation to an associated factor (often followed by behind ): to lag behind in production.
to delay or fail in reaching full development: The factory lags regularly in making its quota.
to hang back; linger; delay: The old friends lagged because they wanted to talk some more.
to decrease, wane, or flag gradually, as in intensity: Interest lagged as the meeting went on.
Marbles. to throw one's shooting marble toward a line (lag line) on the ground in order to decide on the order of play.
Billiards, Pool. string ( def 17b ).
verb (used with object), lagged, lagging.
to fail to keep up with: The industry still lags the national economy.
Obsolete. to cause to lag.
a lagging or falling behind; retardation.
a person who lags behind, is the last to arrive, etc.
an interval or lapse of time: There was a developmental lag in the diffusion of ideas.
Mechanics. the amount of retardation of some motion.
Electricity. the retardation of one alternating quantity, as current, with respect to another related alternating quantity, as voltage, often expressed in degrees.
Marbles, Billiards. the act of lagging.

1505–15; < Scandinavian: compare Norwegian lagga to go slowly

1. loiter, linger. 10. slowing, slowdown.

1. hasten. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To lag behind
World English Dictionary
lag1 (læɡ)
vb , lags, lagging, lagged
1.  (often foll by behind) to hang (back) or fall (behind) in movement, progress, development, etc
2.  to fall away in strength or intensity
3.  to determine an order of play in certain games, as by rolling marbles towards a line or, in billiards, hitting cue balls up the table against the top cushion in an attempt to bring them back close to the headrail
4.  the act or state of slowing down or falling behind
5.  the interval of time between two events, esp between an action and its effect
6.  an act of lagging in a game, such as billiards
[C16: of obscure origin]

lag2 (læɡ)
1.  a convict or ex-convict (esp in the phrase old lag)
2.  a term of imprisonment
vb , lags, lagging, lagged
3.  (tr) to arrest or put in prison
[C19: of unknown origin]

lag3 (læɡ)
vb , lags, lagging, lagged
1.  (tr) to cover (a pipe, cylinder, etc) with lagging to prevent loss of heat
2.  the insulating casing of a steam cylinder, boiler, etc; lagging
3.  a stave or lath
[C17: of Scandinavian origin; related to Swedish lagg stave]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

"fail to keep pace," 1520s, from earlier adj. meaning "last" (1510s), e.g. lag-mon "last man," possibly from a Scand. source (cf. Norw. lagga "go slowly"), or some dialectal version of last, lack, or delay. Related: Lag; lagging. First record of lag time is from 1956.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature