Part of speech: noun
Origin: Unknown origin, 17th century
A short piece of wood or timber
A prop (especially made of wood or timber) used to support a roof, wall, or seam.
Examples of Sprag in a sentence
"After cutting the firewood, my uncle cut a few sprags to use as door stops around the house."
"My brother once built a backyard tunnel so complex it had a wooden roof supported by sprags."
Popularity Over Time
The source of “sprag” is obscure, though in its earliest appearance in English “sprag” referred to a twig, while around the same time “spragge” in Swedish meant the same thing. “Sprag” may also be related to “sprig,” describing a small branch or a rod. The origin of “sprig” is also unknown.
Did you Know?
“Sprag” has another meaning closely related to the two listed here. The verb “to sprag” can mean to create a simple vehicle brake by placing a stout stick (i.e. a “sprag”) in between the spokes of a vehicle. As a result, the noun versions of the word can be used as a verb: one can “sprag” a wall by supporting it with a sprag of timber, and one can “sprag” a wheel to stop its motion by jamming a sprag into it.