Drag - Encyclopedia

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DRAG (from the Old Eng. dragan, to draw; the word preserves the g which phonetically developed into w), that which is drawn or pulled along a surface, or is used for drawing or pulling. The term is thus applied to a harrow for breaking up clods of earth, or for an apparatus, such as a grapnel, net or dredge, used for searching water for drowned bodies or other objects. As a name of a vehicle, "drag" is sometimes used as equivalent to "break," a heavy carriage without a body used for training horses, and also a large kind of wagonette, but is more usually applied to a privately owned four-horse coach for four-in-hand driving. The word is also given to the "shoe" of wood or iron, placed under the wheel to act as a brake, and also to the "drift" or "sea-anchor," usually made of spars and sails, employed for checking the lee-way of a ship when drifting. In fox-hunting, the "drag" is the line of scent left by the fox, but more particularly the term is given to a substitute for the hunting of a fox by hounds, an artificial line of scent being laid by the dragging of a bag of aniseed or other strong smelling substance which a pack will follow.

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