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Etymology 1[edit]


sprag (comparative more sprag, superlative most sprag)

  1. Alternative form of sprack
    • Shakespeare
      A good sprag memory.

Etymology 2[edit]

See spray (a branch).


sprag (plural sprags)

  1. A billet of wood; a piece of timber, a similar solid object or constructed unit used as a prop.
    • 1956, United States Department of the Army, United States Department of the Air Force, Principles of Automotive Vehicles, Technical Manual 9-8000, page 325,
      A sprag (fig. 349) is a steel block so shaped as to act as a wedge in the complete assembly. In the sprag unit under discussion, there are 42 sprags assembled into an outer race and held in place by two energizing springs (fig. 350).
    • 1981, (US) Departments of the Army and Air Force, Maintenance: Direct Support, and General Support Level, Technical Manual 9-2520-246-34-1, page 2-201,
      When checking sprags, anvil and spindle ends of micrometer and flat back of sprag must all rest on a flat surface as shown in view A.
      Since wear on all sprags in any one sprag unit will be the same, it is only necessary to check 5 sprags in each assembly.
    • 2008, Cliff Ruggles, GM Automatic Overdrive Transmission Builder's and Swapper's Guide, page 52,
      The sprag should still be taken apart for visual inspection of the components. I have seen sprags that still functioned correctly, but when taken apart, the spring cage that holds the sprag elements was completely destroyed.
    • 2009, Jack Erjavec, Automotive Technology: A Systems Approach, Cengage Learning, page 1192,
      A one-way sprag clutch (figure 40-36) consists of a hub and a drum separated by figure-eight-shaped metal pieces called sprags. The sprags are shaped this way so they can lock between the races when a race is turned in one direction only.
Derived terms[edit]


sprag (third-person singular simple present sprags, present participle spragging, simple past and past participle spragged)

  1. (transitive) To check the motion of, as a carriage on a steep slope, by putting a sprag between the spokes of the wheel.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of R. S. Poole to this entry?)
  2. (transitive) To prop or sustain with a sprag.

Etymology 3[edit]

This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term.

Compare Icelandic spraka (a small flounder)?


sprag (plural sprags)

  1. A young salmon.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for sprag in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)