From Middle English braggen (“to make a loud noise; to speak boastfully”) of unknown origin. Possibly related to the Middle English adjective brag (“prideful; spirited”), which is probably of Celtic origin; or from Old Norse bragr (“best; foremost; poetry”); or through Old English from Old Norse braka (“to creak”).
brag (plural brags)
- A boast or boasting; bragging; ostentatious pretence or self-glorification.
- 1611 April (first recorded performance), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Cymbeline”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene i]:
- Caesar […] made not here his brag / Of "came", and "saw", and "overcame".
- The thing which is boasted of.
- 1634 October 9 (first performance), [John Milton], H[enry] Lawes, editor, A Maske Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634: […] [Comus], London: Printed [by Augustine Matthews] for Hvmphrey Robinson, […], published 1637, OCLC 228715864; reprinted as Comus: […] (Dodd, Mead & Company’s Facsimile Reprints of Rare Books; Literature Series; no. I), New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1903, OCLC 1113942837:
- Beauty is Nature's brag.
- 2015 October 27, Matt Preston, The Simple Secrets to Cooking Everything Better, Plum, →ISBN, page 192:
- You could just use ordinary shop-bought kecap manis to marinade the meat, but making your own is easy, has a far more elegant fragrance and is, above all, such a great brag! Flavouring kecap manis is an intensely personal thing, so try this version now and next time cook the sauce down with crushed, split lemongrass and a shredded lime leaf.
- (by ellipsis) The card game three card brag.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Chesterfield to this entry?)
- (intransitive) To boast; to talk with excessive pride about what one has, is able to do, or has done; often as an attempt to popularize oneself.
- to brag of one's exploits, courage, or money
- c. 1591–1595, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Romeo and Ivliet”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene vi]:
- Conceit, more rich in matter than in words, / Brags of his substance, not of ornament.
- Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade
- (transitive) To boast of.
- Excellent; first-rate.
- (archaic) Brisk; full of spirits; boasting; pretentious; conceited.
- (Can we date this quote by Ben Jonson and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
- a brag young fellow
brag n (singular definite braget, plural indefinite brag)
- brage verb
- imperative of
brag f (plural bragen)