'Dragged' or 'Drug': What's the Difference?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on July 23, 2023

If you need to know the difference between 'dragged' or 'drug,' this guide will help.

Here is a short answer: 

  • 'Dragged' is the grammatically correct past participle or past tense form of the verb drag
  • 'Drug' is a noun for substances used as medication or for recreational use. 
  • 'Drug' is also a term for giving someone a substance that impairs them with or without their knowledge.  

In the past, people often used 'dragged' and 'drug' interchangeably. However, it is no longer grammatically correct.

Learn more about the difference between these terms in this guide with definitions, usage tips, and sample sentences.

What is the Difference Between 'Dragged' or 'Drug?'

Between 'dragged' or 'drug,' 'dragged' is the grammatically correct past tense form of drag.

However, 'drug' is a less formal way to say the same. So, technically, you can use either, but it is best to use the former rather than the latter.

So, when given a choice, it is better to use 'dragged,' especially if you are writing to a client or business associate.

'Drug' is also a term for a substance that is addictive or controlled. It is something that humans take to achieve a desired effect or feeling.

How to Use 'Dragged' or 'Drug'

You can use 'dragged' and 'drug' interchangeably in some scenarios, but there are others when using them as synonyms are inappropriate.

So, here are the ways that you can use each:

  • Use 'dragged' to say that someone was given a hard time.

For example, you might say:

She was humiliated and dragged through the mud over her involvement in the scandal. 

  • Use 'dragged' in less formal communications.

For example, you may hear someone say:

Can you believe he dragged that colossal thing out there by himself? 

  • Use 'dragged' to say that someone pulled something instead of lifting it.

For example, I might say:

She dragged the furniture because it was too heavy for her to lift. 

  • Use 'drug' to reference a chemical compound doctors and medical professionals use to treat medical conditions.

For example, you might tell someone:

The miracle drug has given much hope that a medical discovery could save them. 

  • Use 'drug' to refer to a substance sold on the street that people take to get high.

For example, you may hear:

Drug use is at an all-time high, with many addicts taking dangerous drugs manufacturers make in clandestine labs. 

  • Use 'drug' to refer to the act of someone putting drugs in someone's food or drinks with or without their knowledge.

For example, you could say:

You should never leave your drink unattended at a bar. Someone could slip a drug into it while you are not paying attention.

Definition of 'Dragged': What is the Meaning of 'Dragged?'

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 'dragged' is the past tense form of the verb drag, and it means:

  • To slowly pull or move a haul

It can also mean:

  • To cause to move slowly without lifting an object entirely off the ground
  • To cause to glide along a surface
  • To bring along by compulsion or force
  • Protract
  • Pass over without lifting
  • To delay or lag behind
  • To search for something
  • To move at a slower pace due to fatigue or a period of physical exertion
  • To proceed at a great rate of exertion
  • To make a pulling movement

Synonyms of 'Dragged'

  • Pulled
  • Towed
  • Drew
  • Hauled
  • Transported
  • Heaved
  • Tugged
  • Conveyed
  • Delayed
  • Crawled
  • Slowed
  • Lingered
  • Crept
  • Idled
  • Inched

Famous 'Dragged' Terms and Phrases

  • Dragged through the mud
  • Dragged your feet
  • Dragged around the country
  • Dragged a net

Definition of 'Drug': What is the Meaning of 'Drug?'

The same defines 'drug' as a noun for:

  • A substance used as or in medications

It can also mean:

  • An illegal substance used to achieve a desired altered state
  • A medication or chemical someone unknowingly ingests
  • A substance that causes cravings and addiction
  • A medication prescribed by a doctor to treat a specific medical condition

It can also be a verb meaning:

  • To give someone a substance to render them incapacitated
  • To administer drugs to a patient or someone you care for
  • To ease, lull or pacify using drugs, alcohol, or sedatives
  • To add a mind or body-altering drug to someone's food or drink

Synonyms of 'Drug'

  • Medicine
  • Pill
  • Remedy
  • Medication
  • Supplement
  • Substance
  • Potion
  • Tonic
  • Serum
  • Injection
  • Tablet
  • Capsule
  • Tincture
  • Ointment
  • Syrup
  • Antiseptic
  • Antibiotic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antifungal
  • Topical treatment
  • Oral treatment

Common 'Drug' Phrases and Terms

  • Street drug
  • Drug possession
  • Drug dealer
  • Drug counseling
  • Drug addiction
  • Drug class
  • Drug manufacturer
  • Miracle drug
  • Drug safety
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Pharmaceutical drugs
  • Drug testing
  • Trial drug
  • Drug side effects
  • Life-saving drugs

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Dragged' and 'Drug'

The pronunciation of these terms is different. So, learning the correct pronunciation should help you commit these terms to memory.

So, here is a guide for pronouncing 'dragged' vs. 'drug.' 

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'dragged':


  • To pronounce 'drug,' use this phonetic spelling:


Sample Sentences Using 'Dragged' or 'Drug'

You should have a thorough understanding of both terms. However, these sample sentences will give you ideas about different ways you can use them.


  • The meeting dragged on for much longer than they anticipated.
  • She dragged that stuffed animal around everywhere when she was young.
  • After he dragged the net along for a few miles, they pulled the nets up and emptied them.
  • The afternoon dragged on forever. I thought I would never get to go home.


  • What is the name of the drug they just recalled?
  • Police are warning locals about people in bars putting dangerous drugs into people's drinks.
  • The police have been investigating a group of high-profile drug dealers in the area.
  • Do not take a drug unless it is prescribed to you by a doctor.


  • The media dragged him through the mud after the performance-enhancing drug was found in his system.
  • After the attackers drug the victims, they watch them until they can easily be dragged out.

The Last Word on the Difference Between 'Dragged' or 'Drug'

Finally, here is a recap of what you learned: 

  • 'Dragged' is the grammatically correct past tense form of the verb 'drag.'
  • 'Drug' is a noun and verb associated with illegal and legal substances administered or taken to achieve a desired result or treat a condition. 
  • 'Drug' is also a verb for the act of administering drugs to someone with or without their knowledge. 

If you need help with the difference between other words and phrases, we have hundreds of guides like this in the confusing words section here. So, before you leave, check them out and come back anytime you need to verify the meaning or accurate usage of a word.

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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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