To lag is to be behind in time, distance, or ability. The preposition "behind" is often used with the word "lag."

  • If you don’t want to lag behind in school, you have to study.
  • Carla is lagging behind in school because she did study.
  • Orb lagged way behind all the other horses at the beginning of the race, but she pulled into first place by the end.
  • Try not to lag behind everyone else.
  • Don’t lag behind. You don’t want to get lost.
  • I feel like like I’m lagging today.

The word "lag" can also be used as a noun:

  • Housing prices in the United States have put a lag on the economy.
  • Natalie says she has jet lag* after a long flight from Hong Kong.

The word "lagging" is an adjective:

  • The rate of unemployment is a lagging indicator for the U.S. economy. People lose jobs after a recession begins, and they are able to find jobs after a recession ends.

Note: Jet lag is a feeling of fatigue and disorientation that a person gets when traveling a long distance by airplane within a short amount of time. The body hasn’t had a chance to catch up with the daily rhythms of a new location.

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June 17, 2013