wag 1 (wăg)
v. wagged, wag·ging, wags
1. To move briskly and repeatedly from side to side, to and fro, or up and down: The dog's tail wagged.
2. To move rapidly in talking. Used of the tongue.
3. Archaic To be on one's way; depart.
To move (a body part) rapidly from side to side or up and down, as in playfulness, agreement, or admonition: wagged his finger at the giggling students.
The act or motion of wagging: a farewell wag of the hand.
[Middle English waggen; see wegh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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.