The origin of the word's sporting sense is not entirely certain (the original edition of the OED lists 89 uses of "draw"), but it began life as the Anglo-Saxon dragan, to "drag" or "carry" (the present German and Dutch tragen and dragen still mean this; c.f. also "dray").
The word's sporting meaning is probably a contraction of "withdraw" - a drawn game is one in which the stakes have been withdrawn in the absence of a result. So in 1610, for example, Carleton wrote: "It concluded, as it is many times in a cock pit, with a drawn match; for nothing in the end was put to the question." The only question on Saturday was where England and Scotland go from here.Reuse content