c.1200, spelling alteration of Old English dragan "to drag, to draw, protract" (class VI strong verb; past tense drog, past participle dragen), from Proto-Germanic *draganan "carry" (cf. Old Norse draga "to draw," Old Saxon dragan, Old Frisian draga, Middle Dutch draghen, Old High German tragen, German tragen "to carry, bear"), from PIE root *dhragh- (see drag (v.)).
Sense of "make a line or figure" (by "drawing" a pencil across paper) is c.1200. Meaning "pull out a weapon" is c.1200. To draw a criminal (drag him from a horse to place of execution) is from early 14c. To draw a blank "come up with nothing" (1825) is an image from lotteries. As a noun, from 1660s; colloquial sense of "anything that can draw a crowd" is from 1881 (the verb in this sense is 1580s).