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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English, from North Germanic. Compare with Old Norse rǫgvathr ‎(tufted) and Norwegian ragget ‎(shaggy).



ragged ‎(comparative more ragged, superlative most ragged)

  1. In tatters, having the texture broken.
    a ragged coat
    a ragged sail
  2. Having rough edges; jagged or uneven
    ragged rocks
  3. Harsh-sounding; having an unpleasant noise
  4. Wearing tattered clothes.
    a ragged fellow
  5. Rough; shaggy; rugged.
    • (Can we date this quote?), John Dryden.
      What shepherd owns those ragged sheep?
  6. Faulty; lacking in skill, reliability, or organization.
    • 2010, Dall Wilson, Alice Nielsen and the Gayety of Nations, ISBN 0557473675, page 318:
      Now I realize how ridiculous and almost impertinent it was to expect New Yorkers to accept such a ragged performance for they have always demanded the best and do not tolerate the second-rate."
    • 2012 May 19, Paul fletcher, “Blackpool 1-2 West Ham”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      Allardyce's side had led at the break through a Carlton Cole strike but after Thomas Ince - son of former Hammers midfielder Paul - levelled shortly after the restart, the match became increasingly stretched and ragged.
    • 2013, William J. Taylor, ‎Eric T. Olson, & ‎Richard A. Schrader, Defense Manpower Planning: Issues for the 1980s, ISBN 1483182347, page 219:
      Despite the apparent general viability of the AVF its ragged performance serves to motivate serious questions concerning its future viability, the quality of the defense that we are buying, and the AVF's effect on our nation and society.
  7. (music) performed in a syncopated manner, especially in ragtime.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From rag




  1. simple past tense and past participle of rag