Share this entry

Share this page

raw

Syllabification: raw

Definition of raw in English:

adjective

1(Of food) uncooked: raw eggs salsify can be eaten raw in salads or cooked
More example sentences
  • Our mothers cooked real food from raw ingredients, making magical meals out of very little.
  • Both dishes were marvellous; fine raw ingredients cooked to juicy, succulent perfection and allowed to stand for themselves without the need for endless sauces and marinades.
  • Pregnant women should avoid foods made with raw or partially cooked eggs, like egg nog and hollandaise sauce.
Synonyms
1.1(Of a material or substance) in its natural state; not yet processed or purified: raw silk raw sewage
More example sentences
  • One thing you should remember - unless you have gone rustic and want to play with stone and raw wood - building materials come in standard sizes.
  • Similar in texture and appearance to paint, these materials can be applied to almost any building material, including raw wood, drywall and steel.
  • The bride looked stunning in an ivory and gold raw silk dress of Irish design and carried a bouquet of delicate cream roses.
Synonyms
unprocessed, untreated, unrefined, crude, natural;
unedited, undigested, unprepared
1.2(Of information) not analyzed, evaluated, or processed for use: there were a number of errors in the raw data
More example sentences
  • Sometimes it is justifiable to go beyond raw statistics.
  • I'm a bit cloudy on the dates, so I'll leave those out and just go with the raw facts.
  • Here, we discuss some of more interesting preliminary findings garnered from a descriptive statistical analysis of the raw data.
1.3(Of the edge of a piece of cloth) not having a hem or selvage.
Example sentences
  • Make sure the loop stitching on the underside is covering the hem raw edge.
  • Serge-finish the raw edges and seam with a straight stitch.
  • Showcase a variety of fabrics on the one side, featuring curved piecing and bias bars covering all raw edges.
1.4(Of a person) new to an activity or job and therefore lacking experience or skill: they were replaced by raw recruits
More example sentences
  • Almost half of today's Army is married - some of them raw recruits.
  • Brigadier Monro's staff of 600 Army personnel and 200 civilians will help to turn raw recruits into trained soldiers.
  • The modest brick building at the heart of Europe's biggest military base has become refuge to thousands of raw recruits.
Synonyms
2(Of a part of the body) red and painful, especially as the result of skin abrasion: he scrubbed his hands until they were raw figurative Fran’s nerves were raw
More example sentences
  • My hands still bleed if I move my fingers too quickly, but the doc says the raw skin and general tenderness will gradually go away.
  • Washing your hands so often that that your skin is raw and bleeding - that I can see too.
  • The wounds were still too raw and painful for the fragile bandages to be removed.
Synonyms
sore, red, painful, tender;
abraded, chafed;
Medicine excoriated
3(Of the weather) bleak, cold, and damp: a raw February night
More example sentences
  • The dreary skies and raw weather suggested November, not mid-May.
  • Luckily, while the weather was cold - 30 to 36 degrees - it wasn't a raw cold.
  • It was raw, damp, dark, and dismal; the clouds were as muddy as the ground; and the short perspective of every street and avenue, was closed up by the mist as by a filthy curtain.
Synonyms
4(Of an emotion or quality) strong and undisguised: he exuded an air of raw, vibrant masculinity
More example sentences
  • The fast footwork, rhythmic clapping and haunting singing radiate an atmosphere of passion and raw emotion.
  • It would be a shame, this team has worked so hard all year and the passion and raw emotion with which they play is something this competition needs desperately.
  • The event is expected to be a supercharged night of high emotion and raw nostalgia when one of the greatest adventure stories of all time will be told by the men who made it happen.
Synonyms
strong, intense, passionate, fervent, powerful, violent;
undisguised, unconcealed, unrestrained, uninhibited
4.1Frank and realistic in the depiction of unpleasant facts or situations: a raw, uncompromising portrait
More example sentences
  • Each of the three tracks on the EP convey a sense of raw realism.
  • She felt Adam was getting the raw end of the situation.
  • The result is raw confrontation, sometimes unpleasant in its intensity.
Synonyms
realistic, unembellished, unvarnished, brutal, harsh, gritty, graphic
4.2US informal (Of language) coarse or crude, typically in relation to sexual matters.
Example sentences
  • People offended by raw language, and even rougher depictions of street life, should steer clear.
  • The author masterfully captures the narratives by using humor, raw language and thought-provoking descriptions.
  • His language is raw and delivery raucous, but his intelligent and insightful material will make you think.

Origin

Old English hrēaw, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch rauw and German roh, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek kreas 'raw flesh'.

More
  • This Old English word shares an ancient root with Greek kreas ‘raw flesh’. In Australian English a stupid person can be referred to as a prawn (ME of unknown origin), and to come the raw prawn is to attempt to deceive someone, presumably by pretending that you are too simple to cheat.

Phrases

in the raw

1
1In its true state; not made to seem better or more palatable than it actually is: he didn’t much care for nature in the raw
More example sentences
  • Those of us who can't or won't brave nature in the raw should never underestimate the power of the local swimming pool, in providing that vital link with our ancestral past.
  • For nature in the raw, push inland to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • I switched off the telly and settled down to what I thought would be half an hour of savage nature in the raw!
2 informal (Of a person) naked: I slept in the raw

Derivatives

rawly

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • The orchestral sound was revelatory, specifically for the way the instruments paradoxically seemed to gain a new individuality, rawly expressive, yet to be part of a more than usually cohesive ensemble.
  • The role of the UN has been rawly exposed in the current crisis.
  • Her view of her homeland may be ambivalent but it is rawly accurate.

rawness

2
noun
Example sentences
  • I suppose you never lose the sensitivity and the rawness that an unpleasant comment can bring to you.
  • The rawness of his ruthlessness was there for all to see.
  • He says the rawness of the genre continues to enthrall him.

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtəːpsɪkəˈriːən
adjective
relating to dancing