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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)

A stag deer of species Cervus nippon. (2)
  1. (countable) An adult male deer.
  2. (countable) A 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) The Eurasian wren, Troglodytes troglodytes.
  8. (countable, usually attributive) An unmarried male, a bachelor; a male not accompanying a female at a social event.
    a stag dance; a stag party
  9. (countable) A social event for males held in honor of a groom on the eve of his wedding, attended by male friends of the groom, sometimes a fund-raiser.
    The stag will be held in the hotel's ballroom.
  10. (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.
  11. (uncountable, Britain, 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.



Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



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

  1. (intransitive, Britain) 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.


See also[edit]

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 stag in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)


Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of stagge



stag ?

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