From the second edition (1989):
faggot, fagot, n.
(ˈfægət) Forms: 4 faget(t, 4–6 faggott, 5 fagatt, -ot(t, 6 fagget, Sc. faggat, 4– fagot, 5– faggot. See also fagald. [a. Fr. fagot, of unknown origin; cf. It. fa(n)gotto.]
1. A bundle of sticks, twigs, or small branches of trees bound together: a. for use as fuel.
a1300 Cursor M. 3164 (Cott.) Ȝong ysaac a fagett broght. 1398 Trevisa Barth. De P.R. xvii. cxlix. (1495) 703 Thornes‥ben bounde in faggottes‥and brent in ouens. 1478 Bury Wills (Camden) 77 The price of the c fagots iijs vjd. 1578 Gude & G. Ball. (1868) 92 As the flame burning quhair it can find The faggat. 1649 W. Blithe Eng. Improv. Impr. (1653) 36 Thou must take good green Faggots. 1770 Goldsm. Des. Vill. 133 To pick her wintry fagot from the thorn. 1821 Clare Vill. Minstr. I. 128 Goody begg'd a helping hand To heave her rotten faggot up. 1866 Rogers Agric. & Prices I. xviii. 424 In all probability the fagot was of very various sizes.
†b. Mil. for use in fascines. Obs.
c1400 Sowdone Bab. 285 Fagotis to hewe‥And fille the dikes faste anoon. 1548 Hall Chron. 112 Castyng faggottes into the diches. 1603 Knolles Hist. Turks (1621) 1064 [He] would oftentimes‥carrie a fagot‥before him‥for the raising of the mount. 1711 Addison Spect. No. 165 ⁋3 The Black Prince‥filled a Ditch with Faggots as successfully as the Generals of our Times do it with Fascines.
2. a. With special reference to the practice of burning heretics alive, esp. in phrase fire and faggot; †to fry a faggot, to be burnt alive; also, to bear, carry a faggot, as those did who renounced heresy. Hence fig. the punishment itself.
a1555 Latimer Serm. & Rem. (1845) 277 Running out of Germany for fear of the fagot. 1621 Bp. R. Montagu Diatribae 44 You deserued to fry a fagot. 1649 Bp. Hall Cases Consc. iii. v. 274 Fagots were never ordained by the Apostle for arguments to confute hereticks. 1667 Poole Dial. betw. Protest. & Papist (1735) 101 You answer our Arguments with Fire and Faggot. 1721 Strype Eccl. Mem. I. viii. 86 He should go before the cross bare-headed‥carrying a faggot on his shoulder. 1741–8 Watts Improv. Mind i. xiv. 195 Mitres or Faggots have been the Rewards of different Persons according as they pronounced these consecrated Syllables, or not pronounced them. 1808 J. Barlow Columb. iv. 206 Racks, wheels and crosses, faggots, stakes and strings. 1868 J. H. Blunt Ref. Ch. Eng. I. 85 Wolsey caused them to carry a faggot to the fire‥Henry placed them in the midst of actual faggots. 1888 J. Gairdner in Dict. Nat. Biog. XIII. 30/2 It is not easy to answer arguments in prison, with fire and faggots in the background.
b. The embroidered figure of a faggot, which heretics who had recanted were obliged to wear on their sleeve, as an emblem of what they had merited.
1706 in Phillips (ed. Kersey). 1823 in Crabb Technol. Dict.
3. In wider sense. a. A bundle or bunch in general, e.g. of rushes, herbs, etc. b. fig. A ‘bundle’, collection (of things not forming any genuine unity).
1489 Caxton Faytes of A. i. xiv. 38 Fagotis and bondellis of rede. 1545 Brinklow Compl. 25b, Yet must he‥pryuyly beare a fagot of russhes in his chamber. 1555 Eden Decades 5 They founde faggottes of the bones of mennes armes and legges. 1650 W. Cradock in Spurgeon Treas. Dav. Ps. lxxxiii. 1 That he may‥gather the wicked into one fagot‥that they may be destroyed together. 1723 J. Nott Cook's & Confectioner's Dict. BA §27 A Faggot of sweet Herbs. 1741 Compl. Fam. Piece i. ii. 99 A little Faggot of Thyme, Savory, and Parsley. 1742 H. Walpole Corr. (ed. 3) I. xxxviii. 154 My faggot of compliments. 1782 in Baker Biogr. Dram. iii. (1812) 260 A faggot of utter improbabilities. 1854 Emerson Lett. & Soc. Aims, Quot. & Orig. Wks. (Bohn) III. 214 The psalms and liturgies of churches are‥a fagot of selections. 1906 Mrs. Beeton Bk. Househ. Managem. lxi. 1638 The little bunch or fagot of herbs‥usually consists of two or three sprigs of parsley, a sprig of thyme, and a bayleaf. 1960 Harper's Bazaar Oct. 153/1 The traditional faggot of mixed herbs.
4. A bundle of iron or steel rods bound together.
1540 Act 32 Hen. VIII, c. 14 Item for euery last of faggottes of yron iiii. s. 1640 in Entick London II. 181 For a faggot of steel 0 1d. 1706 Phillips (ed. Kersey), Faggot of Steel (in Traffick) the Quantity of 120 Pound-Weight. 1721–1800 in Bailey. 1825 J. Nicholson Operat. Mechanic 338 This is termed a faggot [of iron], being about 12 or 14 inches long, and six inches square. 1881 Greener Gun 221 The bars were then‥fastened into a faggot.
5. (See quot. 1851.)
1851 Mayhew Lond. Labour II. 227 He‥made his supper‥on ‘fagots’. This preparation‥is a sort of cake, roll or ball‥made of chopped liver and lights, mixed with gravy, and wrapped in pieces of pig's caul. 1858 Sala Journ. due North 308 The curious viands known in cheap pork-butchery‥as Faggots. 1881 in Oxford Gloss. Supp.
6. a. A term of abuse or contempt applied to a woman (orig. dial.) Also in extended uses.
1591 Lodge Catharos 4b, A filbert is better than a faggot, except it be an Athenian she handfull. 1840 Barham Ingol. Leg., Grey Dolphin, ‘What's that you say, old faggot?’ 1862 Mrs. H. Wood Mrs. Hallib. ii. xxi, She‥struck at me, she did, the good-for-nothing faggot! 1882 Mrs. Chamberlain W. Worc. Words 11 Faggit, a term of reproach used to children. 1900 Eng. Dial. Dict. II. 278/2 To a stray cow: ‘Come out o' that, ye old faggot.’ 1922 Joyce Ulysses 723 That old faggot Mrs Riordan. 1925 D. H. Lawrence Refl. Death Porcupine 176 To me she [sc. a cow] is fractious, tiresome, and a faggot. Yet the subtle desirableness is in her, for me. 1969 Sunday Mirror 9 Feb. 35 'Urry up wi' that glass o' beer, you lazy faggot!
b. A (male) homosexual. slang (orig. and chiefly U.S.).
1914 Jackson & Hellyer Vocab. Criminal Slang 30 s.v. Drag, Example: ‘All the fagots (sissies) will be dressed in drag at the ball tonight.’ 1926 Wood & Goddard Dict. Amer. Slang 16 Fagot, a chorus man; an effeminate man. 1936 J. Dos Passos Big Money (1937) 273 The first thing Marge thought was how on earth she could ever have liked that fagot. 1962 H. Kane Killer's Kiss xxvii. 207 Duffy was no queen, no platinum-dyed freak, no screaming faggot. 1966 New Statesman 18 Mar. 392/3 The American word ‘faggot’ is making advances here over our own more humane ‘queer’. 1970 New Yorker 28 Nov. 21/2 A gathering of homosexuals‥a Jew, a Negro, a butch faggot, a nellie faggot.
†7. A person temporarily hired to supply a deficiency at the muster, or on the roll of a company or regiment; a dummy. Obs.
a1700 B. E. Dict. Cant. Crew, Faggots, Men Muster'd for Souldiers, not yet Listed. 1708 Brit. Apollo No. 105. 4/1 You may be some Faggot to pass at a Muster. 1755 Mem. Capt. P. Drake II. iii. 75 The Adjutants‥came to treat and settle with me about the Fagots (Men deficient of the Number of Workmen, ordered from each Regiment). 1756 Ld. Chesterfield Connoisseur cii, William, a Faggot in the First Regiment of Guards. 1802 in James Milit. Dict.
8. = faggot vote.
1817 Sir F. Burdett in Parl. Deb. 1368 These faggots‥returned the two members to the House of Commons. 1879 Daily News 16 Apr. 6/6 He‥had not the slightest doubt he would win, unless he were to be swamped by faggots. 1884 Truth 13 Mar. 374/1 The art of manufacturing fagots.
9. In various occasional uses: (see quots.).
1727 Bradley Fam. Dict. s.v., Faggots of Oranges, Orange-Peels turn'd or par'd very thin, in order to be preserv'd. 1867 Smyth Sailor's Word-bk. 287 Fagot, a billet for stowing casks. 1880 E. Cornw. Gloss., Faggot‥a secret and unworthy compromise.
10. attrib. and Comb., as faggot-bearer, faggot-boat, faggot-flame, faggot-maker, faggot-making, faggot-pile, faggot-steel, faggot-stick, faggot-wood. Also, faggot-brief, a dummy brief (cf. 7); faggot-drain, a drain made by placing faggots at the bottom of a trench and then covering them with earth; faggot filling-stitch = faggot-stitch; faggot-iron, iron, in the form of bars or masses, made from welding together a faggot or pile of iron bars; †faggot-spray, the refuse twigs, etc., left in making faggots; faggot-stitch, needlework in which two pieces of material are joined together by stitching resembling the faggoting of drawn-thread work; so faggot-stitching; †faggot-waisted a., arranged in pleats like a bundle of sticks. Also faggot-vote.
c1515 Cocke Lorelles B. (Percy Soc.) 11 With lollers, lordaynes, and *fagot berers. 1616 Beaum. & Fl. Scornful Lady ii. iii, If you 'scape with life, and take a *faggot-boat. 1859 Sala Tw. round Clock (1861) 97 The briefless ones‥pretend to pore over ‘*faggot’ briefs. 1819 Communic. Board Agric. 245 Many of these *faggot-drains have failed. 1934 M. Thomas Dict. Embroidery Stitches 182 Sheaf filling stitch, also known as *faggot filling stitch. 1957 M. B. Picken Fashion Dict. 121/1 Fagot filling-stitch, group of parallel stitches tied together at center to form a bundle. 1842 Sir A. De Vere Song of Faith 243 Turkish cimeters Not fiercelier bite than Christian *faggot-flame. 1870 E. Röhrig Technol. Dict. (ed. 2) II. 219/2 *Fagot-iron, faggotted iron, das Paketeisen, das Schroteisen. Ferraille. 1584 R. Scott Discov. Witchcr. v. i. 73 Three witches of great wealth‥assalted a *faggot-maker. 1822 T. Mitchell Aristoph. I. p. l, Originally a faggot-maker, his mode of tying up bundles excited the attention of Democritus. 1826 Miss Mitford Village 2nd Ser. (1863) 408 Its long open sheds for broom and *faggot-making. Ibid. 257 The cart-shed‥and the *faggot-pile. 1664 Evelyn Kal. Hort. (1729) 204 Put some Rubbish of Lime-stones‥*Faggot-spray, or the like, at the bottom of the Cases. 1831 J. Holland Manuf. Metal I. 234 The article known among dealers by the appellation of *faggot steel. 1523 Tell-Troth's N.Y. Gift 13 Began to beelabour her‥with a *faggotstick. a1774 Goldsm. tr. Scarron's Com. Romance (1775) II. 7 The maid followed puss, with a faggot-stick in her hand. 1903 Daily Chron. 13 June 8/4 A lace and canvas epaulette pelerine, the seams of which are separated by *faggot-stitch. 1928 Sunday Express 3 June 8 The frills, which were not more than half an inch wide, were set in with *faggot stitching. 1581 Rich Farewel Mil. Prof. (1846) 218 Their dublettes some~tyme *faggot wasted above the navill; sometymes cowe~beallied belowe the flanckes. 1704 Collect. Voy. (Church.) III. 727/2 Boats came‥to fetch *Faggot-wood.