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slug 1 (slŭg)
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n.
1. A round bullet larger than buckshot.
2. Informal
a. A shot of liquor.
b. An amount of liquid, especially liquor, that is swallowed in one gulp; a swig.
3. A small metal disk for use in a vending or gambling machine, especially one used illegally.
4. A lump of metal or glass prepared for further processing.
5. Printing
a. A strip of type metal, less than type-high and thicker than a lead, used for spacing.
b. A line of cast type in a single strip of metal.
c. A compositor's type line of identifying marks or instructions, inserted temporarily in copy.
6. Physics The British unit of mass that accelerates at the rate of one foot per second per second when acted on by a force of one pound on the surface of the Earth.
tr.v. slugged, slug·ging, slugs
1. Printing To add slugs to.
2. Informal To drink rapidly or in large gulps: slugged down a can of pop.

[Perhaps from SLUG2 (from its shape).]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
slug 2 (slŭg)
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n.
1. Any of various terrestrial gastropod mollusks having a slow-moving slimy elongated body with no shell or with a flat rudimentary shell on or under the skin, usually found in moist habitats.
2. A sea slug.
3. The smooth soft larva of certain insects, such as the sawfly.
4. A slimy mass of aggregated amoeboid cells that develops into the spore-bearing fruiting body of a cellular slime mold.
5. Informal A sluggard.

[Middle English slugge, sluggard, probably of Scandinavian origin.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
slug 3 (slŭg)
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tr.v. slugged, slug·ging, slugs
To strike heavily, especially with the fist or a bat.
n.
A hard heavy blow, as with the fist or a baseball bat.

[Possibly from SLUG1.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
slug 4 (slŭg)
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intr.v. slugged, slug·ging, slugs
To wait for or obtain a ride to work by standing at a roadside hoping to be picked up by a driver who needs another passenger to use the HOV lanes of a highway.
n.
A commuter who slugs.

[Probably from SLUG2.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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