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See also: StAG


A stag (sense 1) of the species Cervus nippon

Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English stagge, steg, from Old English stagga, stacga (a stag) and Old Norse steggi, steggr (a male animal), both from Proto-Germanic *staggijô, *staggijaz (male, male deer, porcupine), probably from Proto-Indo-European *stegʰ-, *stengʰ- (to sting; rod, blade; sharp, stiff). Cognate with Icelandic steggi, steggur (tomcat, male fox). Related to staggard, staggon.


  • IPA(key): /stæɡ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æɡ


stag (countable and uncountable, plural stags)

  1. (countable) An adult male deer, especially a red deer.
    Synonyms: buck, hart
  2. (countable, chiefly Scotland) A young horse (colt or filly).
  3. (by extension, countable, obsolete) A romping girl; a tomboy.
  4. (countable) An improperly or late castrated bull or ram – also called a bull seg (see note under ox).
  5. (countable, finance) An outside irregular dealer in stocks, who is not a member of the exchange.
  6. (countable, finance) One who applies for the allotment of shares in new projects, with a view to sell immediately at a premium, and not to hold the stock.
  7. (countable, usually attributive) An unmarried man; a bachelor; a man not accompanying a woman at a social event.
    a stag dance; a stag party; a stag bar
  8. (countable) A social event for men held in honor of a groom on the eve of his wedding, attended by male friends of the groom; sometimes a fundraiser.
    Synonyms: (US) bachelor party, (UK) stag do, stag party, stag lunch
    Coordinate terms: bachelorette party, hen party
    The stag will be held in the hotel's ballroom.
  9. (countable, slang) An informer.
    • 1838, [Joseph Holt], edited by T. Crofton Croker, Memoirs of Joseph Holt, General of the Irish Rebels, in 1798, volume II, London: Henry Colburn, page 52:
      We had two disturbers of the harmony of the ship; I mean two stags or informers, one named Robert Wilson, the other John Hewit, from the north of Ireland.
  10. (uncountable, UK, military, slang) Guard duty.
    • 2000, Richard Tomlinson, The big breach: from top secret to maximum security, page 31:
      Between shifts on stag or manning the radio, we grabbed a few hours sleep.
    • 2012, Max Benitz, Six Months Without Sundays: The Scots Guards in Afghanistan:
      Three days were spent on standby or patrols and a fourth day on guard, with at least eight hours on stag.
  11. (countable) A stag beetle (family Lucanidae).
    • 2007, Eric R. Eaton, Kenn Kaufman, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, page 132:
      Members of the genus Pasimachus [] can be confused with stag beetles [] but stags have elbowed antennae.
  12. (countable) The Eurasian wren, Troglodytes troglodytes.


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



stag (third-person singular simple present stags, present participle stagging, simple past and past participle stagged)

  1. (intransitive, UK) To act as a "stag", an irregular dealer in stocks.
  2. (transitive) To watch; to dog, or keep track of.
    Synonym: shadow



stag (not comparable)

  1. Of a man, attending a formal social function without a date.
    My brother went stag to prom because he couldn't find a date.


Further reading[edit]


Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of stagge



Inherited from Old Swedish stag, from Old Norse stag, from Proto-Germanic *stagą.


stag n

  1. (nautical) a stay
  2. an appliance with a function similar to a nautical stay


Declension of stag 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative stag staget stag stagen
Genitive stags stagets stags stagens