ragged

adjective
rag·​ged | \ ˈra-gəd How to pronounce ragged (audio) \

Definition of ragged

1 : roughly unkempt
2 : having an irregular edge or outline
3a : torn or worn to tatters
b : worn-out from stress and strain ran herself ragged
4 : wearing tattered clothes
5a : straggly
b : executed in an irregular or uneven manner
c of a sound : harsh, dissonant

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from ragged

raggedly adverb
raggedness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for ragged

Synonyms

broken, craggy, jagged, scraggly, scraggy

Antonyms

clean, even, smooth, soft, unbroken

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of ragged in a Sentence

a boy in ragged jeans You look a little ragged—did you have a rough week?

Recent Examples on the Web

Kentucky came out blazing against the nation’s top field-goal defense and then gutted out a ragged second half thanks to Herro’s big 3-pointer. Eric Olson, The Seattle Times, "Herro late 3-pointer lifts Kentucky over Houston, to Elite 8," 30 Mar. 2019 The kids' ragged breathing — boosted by the silo's natural echo effect — makes this set piece feel like the most sophisticated one in the film (just from a sound design perspective). Simon Abrams, The Hollywood Reporter, "Did 'A Quiet Place' Take Enough Risks?," 16 Apr. 2018 Lethem is in an absurdist, hyperactive mode here, piling contemporary social anxieties on top of a ragged vision of frontier living, and if the results are mixed, the novel is nevertheless packed with surprises and vivid, apocalyptic tableaux. Vogue, "Need a New Read? Here Are the 4 Books We’re Loving Right Now," 15 Nov. 2018 The storm had a robust circulation that was detected by Hurricane Hunters, but its appearance on satellite was still ragged and obviously influenced by strong winds out of the west. Angela Fritz, Washington Post, "Alberto forecast to strengthen as it tracks toward the northern Gulf Coast," 25 May 2018 Among the vitrines, the scholar’s eye fell upon a ragged bit of a sixth-century papyrus fragment containing lines from Galatians 2 in Coptic. Nina Burleigh, Newsweek, "The Messiah Cometh: Hobby Lobby's Museum of the Bible Descends on the Nation's Capital," 7 Apr. 2016 Pickup trucks mounted with heavy machine guns rumbled past the ragged tents of the displaced bound for the front. Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post, "Could Yemen’s humanitarian crisis — the most dire in the world — be about to get dramatically worse?," 14 June 2018 Los Angeles Times As people peeked out from ragged tents next to Angel Stadium in the early-morning darkness Wednesday, U.S. District Judge David O. Carter strode briskly through the vast homeless encampment along the Santa Ana River trail. Benjamin Oreskes, latimes.com, "Essential California: 'Black Panther,' already a cultural moment, is about to shatter movie business assumptions," 15 Feb. 2018 The strike partnership of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani could run ragged over any defense in this competition. Kellen Becoats, SI.com, "2018 World Cup Group A Preview: Uruguay Favored; All Eyes on Salah, Hosts," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ragged.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ragged

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ragged

Statistics for ragged

Last Updated

10 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ragged

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ragged

ragged

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of ragged

: having an edge or surface that is not straight or even
: in bad condition especially because of being torn
: wearing clothes that are torn and in poor condition

ragged

adjective
rag·​ged | \ ˈra-gəd How to pronounce ragged (audio) \

Kids Definition of ragged

1 : having a rough or uneven edge or outline ragged cliffs
2 : very worn-out : tattered ragged clothes
3 : wearing very worn-out clothes
4 : done in an uneven way a ragged performance

Other Words from ragged

raggedly adverb
raggedness noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on ragged

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ragged

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ragged

Spanish Central: Translation of ragged

Nglish: Translation of ragged for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ragged for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ragged

What made you want to look up ragged? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to mark by some ceremony or observation

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!