Definition of ragged in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈraɡəd/


1(Of cloth or clothes) old and torn.
Example sentences
  • An women in ragged cloths with one dirty infant in her arms approaches my car which stopped at a red light in Shahbag.
  • All she wore was a ragged shirt that was torn at the sleeves and the abdomen, exposing a strip of pale skin around her slender waist.
  • A street artist, dressed in a ragged canvas jacket and a simple blue felt hat is drawing on the sidewalk with chalk.
1.1(Of a person) wearing old and torn clothes: a ragged child
More example sentences
  • They were a ragged bunch, wearing clothes that looked as if they hadn't seen a good wash in weeks at best.
  • He was a ragged decrepit old man blinking in amazement as a silver ship descends into the valley, landing gently beside the lake.
  • A group of fierce, ragged men stood at the edge of the field, staring but not moving.
shabby, scruffy, unkempt, dressed in rags
2Having a rough, irregular, or uneven surface, edge, or outline: a ragged coastline
More example sentences
  • The war had begun six months earlier, and by now the fighting had narrowed down to the ragged eastern edge of the country.
  • However, because of the ragged surface, the meshwork structure can be observed only on the inner shell surface.
  • See your doctor when the border or the edge of the mole is not smooth but irregular or ragged.
jagged, craggy, rugged, uneven, rough, irregular;
serrated, sawtooth, sawtoothed, indented
technical crenulate, crenulated
2.1Lacking finish, smoothness, or uniformity: the ragged discipline of the players
More example sentences
  • Hawick were also made to pay for some ragged discipline on 20 minutes when their captain Roddy Deans was sin-binned for a late tackle.
  • If you watch warm-ups at the typical age group meet, you'll see much more ragged than smooth movement.
  • From a production standpoint, the album is crisp enough to sustain the songs, yet lacking just enough fidelity to complement his ragged delivery.
2.2(Of a sound) rough or uneven: his breathing became ragged
More example sentences
  • They carried Kharasil up the corridors in a wave of nervous chatter, the ragged sound of a giggle falling obscenely in the narrow space.
  • Blanche gasped, a ragged sound, her fair, trembling hand jumping to cover her mouth.
  • The ragged sound of tapping valves beneath the dusty hoods of several trucks fills the air, which smells strongly of diesel fuel.
2.3(Of an animal) having a rough, shaggy coat: a pair of ragged ponies
More example sentences
  • His imagination was fevered, he thought of himself as a knight from a bygone era and moved around like one, riding a ragged horse.
  • A ragged pigeon with one scabby leg is slouching wearily on my window-sill.
  • Her shaggy, ragged coat, thick with its winter growth, was still not enough to keep out the biting cold that had come with last night's ice storm.
2.4 Printing (Especially of a right margin) uneven because the lines are unjustified.
3Suffering from exhaustion or stress: he looked a little ragged, a little shadowy beneath the eyes
More example sentences
  • I was surprised she hadn't hospitalized my brothers; they both looked ragged and haunted and exhausted.
  • The three children's playtime was interrupted as an exhausted and ragged looking lady barged out from the bushes.
  • Looking at the team she realized just how ragged and exhausted everyone was.


run someone ragged

Exhaust someone by making them undertake a lot of physical activity.
Example sentences
  • O'Driscoll was continuing to run Listowel ragged and the inevitable happened in the 26th minute when Camp scored again.
  • Despite admitting that he was run ragged by playing basketball with the kids, he said he was considering making it an annual event for the future.
  • There were certain areas where we had youths in gangs of 20 or 25 causing serious problems for residents and running us ragged.



Pronunciation: /ˈraɡədlē/
Example sentences
  • When we walked out of his house that day, I looked around me, at the raggedly dressed people hovering in the spaces between buildings, their lean-to hovels barely visible behind them.
  • In the distance, you can see other camps rising raggedly out of the moraine, each looking like it has just been through a ruinous siege.
  • He registers the first tug of loss as she strides on, hair flapping raggedly behind her over the collar of her blue jacket.


Pronunciation: /ˈraɡədnəs/
Example sentences
  • The film had the conspicuous raggedness of a work hijacked by circumstance.
  • Yet for all its raggedness, this tree has an air of captivating beauty, especially when it's fragile blooms veil it in white mists
  • Though the stop at the inn had allowed a chance to clean up somewhat there were still smut staining on their clothing and a raggedness about them.


Middle English: of Scandinavian origin; compare with Old Norse rǫgvathr 'tufted' and Norwegian ragget 'shaggy'.

Words that rhyme with ragged


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: rag·ged

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