1. The frayed end of a length of cloth or rope.
a. An inferior or worn-out remnant.
b. The last part: "the fag end of this crisis-ridden century" (Wallace Irwin, Jr.)
[Middle English fagge, fag, broken thread in cloth, something that hangs loose.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.