[rag-id] /ˈræg ɪd/

clothed in tattered garments:
a ragged old man.
torn or worn to ; tattered:
ragged clothing.
shaggy, as an animal, its coat, etc.
having loose or hanging shreds or fragmentary bits:
a ragged wound.
full of rough or sharp projections; jagged:
ragged stones.
in a wild or neglected state:
a ragged garden.
rough, imperfect, or faulty:
a ragged piece of work.
harsh, as sound, the voice, etc.
(of a column of type) set or printed with one side unjustified; either flush left with the right side unjustified (ragged right) or flush right with the left side unjustified (ragged left)
(of clothes) worn to rags; tattered
(of a person) dressed in shabby tattered clothes
having a neglected or unkempt appearance: ragged weeds
having a loose, rough, or uneven surface or edge; jagged
uneven or irregular: a ragged beat, a ragged shout

“rough, shaggy,” c.1300, past participle adjective as though from a verb form of rag (n.). Cf. Latin pannosus “ragged, wrinkly,” from pannus “piece of cloth.” But the word might reflect a broader, older meaning; perhaps from or reinforced by Old Norse raggaðr “shaggy,” via Old English raggig “shaggy, bristly, rough” (which, Barnhart writes, “was almost surely developed from Scandinavian”). Of clothes, early 14c.; of persons, late 14c. To run (someone) ragged is from 1915. Related: Raggedly; raggedness.

Related Terms

run someone ragged
see: run one ragged


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  • Ragged school

    noun 1. (in Britain, formerly) a free elementary school for poor children

  • Raggedy

    [rag-i-dee] /ˈræg ɪ di/ adjective 1. . /ˈræɡɪdɪ/ adjective 1. (informal) somewhat ragged; tattered: a raggedy doll adj. 1845, U.S. Southern, from ragged + -y (2). Raggedy Ann stories first published 1918, character created by U.S. illustrator Johnny Gruelle (1880-1938). The tangle of tales about the origin of the doll and the name probably are […]

  • Raggedy-ass

    adj. by 1930, from raggedy + ass (n.2). adjective Inferior; sloppy; half-assed: some kinda raggedy-ass agreement she thinks is a legal will/ picked up from some raggedy-pants US trackside [WWI armed forces; found as ragged-arse by 1896]

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