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sprag1

[sprag] /spræg/
noun
1.
a pole or bar hinged to the rear axle of a cart or the like in such a way that it can brace the vehicle against a road to prevent it from rolling downhill.
2.
Mining. a short timber for propping up loose walls or spacing two sets.
verb (used with object), spragged, spragging.
3.
to prop, support, or immobilize (a vehicle) by means of a sprag.
verb (used without object), spragged, spragging.
4.
to slow a vehicle by means of a sprag or, sometimes, by bracing the feet against the ground.
Origin
1835-1845
1835-45; special use of dial. sprag twig (Old English spræcg shoot, slip); akin to sprig

sprag2

[sprag] /spræg/
noun
1.
a young cod.
Origin
1700-10; special use of dial. sprag twig, lively young man; see sprag1 and for meaning, cf. sprig
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for sprag

sprag

/spræɡ/
noun
1.
a chock or steel bar used to prevent a vehicle from running backwards on an incline
2.
a support or post used in mining
3.
(NZ, mining) a steel bar inserted into the wheels of a box to act as a brake
Word Origin
C19: of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sprag
n.

"prop in a mine," 1841, of unknown origin. Transferred by 1878 to wood blocks, etc., used to brake motor vehicles. As a verb, from 1841. Related: Spragged; spragging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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