drag feet (or heels)


drag one’s feet
also, drag one’s heels


  • to do something slowly because you do not want to do it.
  • act reluctantly or without enthusiasm.
  • postpone doing what one should be doing.
  • act or work with intentional slowness; deliberately hold back or delay.

Example Sentences

  1. I suspect the government is dragging its heels over this issue.
  2. We don’t want to look as if we’re dragging our heels over promoting women to senior positions.
  3. The government has been dragging its feet in bringing up a bill in Parliament on land acquisition.
  4. I have been dragging my feet about filing my taxes.
  5. When they told us they wanted to put computers in our classrooms, we dragged our heels a little bit.
  6. The British had been dragging their feet concerning a single European currency.


This metaphor for allowing one’s feet to trail dates from the mid-1900s.

When someone uses the expression “drag one’s feet” or “drag one’s heels,” it suggests that they are trying to avoid doing something or are trying to put off doing something as long as they can. The idiomatic expression “drag one’s feet” is much more frequently used than “drag one’s heels.”

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