\ ˈrag How to pronounce rag (audio) \

Definition of rag

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1a : a waste piece of cloth
b rags plural : clothes usually in poor or ragged condition
c : clothing the rag trade
2 : something resembling a rag
3 : newspaper especially : a sleazy newspaper

Definition of rag (Entry 2 of 5)

1 : any of various hard rocks
2 : a large roofing slate that is rough on one side


ragged\ ˈragd How to pronounce ragged (audio) \; ragging

Definition of rag (Entry 3 of 5)

transitive verb

1 : to rail at : scold
rag on
: to make fun of

Definition of rag (Entry 4 of 5)

chiefly British
: an outburst of boisterous fun also : prank

Definition of rag (Entry 5 of 5)

: a composition in ragtime

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Examples of rag in a Sentence

Verb several readers called in to rag the editor for his paper's repeated grammatical lapses

First Known Use of rag

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1739, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (3)

1825, in the meaning defined above

Noun (4)

1881, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rag

Noun (1)

Middle English ragge, from Old English *ragg, from Old Norse rǫgg tuft, shagginess

Noun (2)

Middle English ragge


origin unknown

Noun (4)

short for ragtime

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Time Traveler for rag

Time Traveler

The first known use of rag was in the 14th century

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Statistics for rag

Cite this Entry

“Rag.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rag. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for rag



English Language Learners Definition of rag

informal : to laugh at and make jokes about (someone)


\ ˈrag How to pronounce rag (audio) \

Kids Definition of rag

1 : a worn piece of cloth
2 rags plural : shabby or very worn clothing The child is dressed in rags.

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