ragged

adjective

rag·​ged ˈra-gəd How to pronounce ragged (audio)
1
: roughly unkempt
2
: having an irregular edge or outline
3
a
: torn or worn to tatters
b
: worn-out from stress and strain
ran herself ragged
4
: wearing tattered clothes
5
a
b
: executed in an irregular or uneven manner
c
of a sound : harsh, dissonant
raggedly adverb
raggedness noun

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 In the distance, rising against the stars, was a ragged range of mountains. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, 22 Mar. 2024 The determined cheer, polishing the more ragged edges of Howard Ashman’s book, proves most problematic for the show’s theoretical climax, when Audrey finds out what really feeds the plant. Sophia Nguyen, Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2024 People were walking their dogs on the fairway, which was looking rather ragged and unkempt. Cara Buckley, New York Times, 15 Feb. 2024 Winslet’s Mare is a ragged reflection of the weary town itself. Erik Kain, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024 Taken by amateurs with the cameras of their day, the photos often have a ragged beauty to them, compared with today’s digital perfection, and also a special intimacy. Jack Nicas, New York Times, 10 Feb. 2024 What Gerwig captured — and, remarkably, was permitted by Mattel to capture — is the ragged, inspiring way that many little girls have played with their Barbie dolls over time. M.g. Lord, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 Jan. 2024 Soon, December will be upon us in all its ragged, snowy, winter glory. Erik Kain, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 Nail artists love this soothing Julep oil for ragged cuticles, while Sally Hansen's renowned dissolver is great for clearing up jagged nail beds without needing cuticle cutters. Andrea Navarro, Glamour, 11 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ragged.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near ragged

Cite this Entry

“Ragged.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ragged. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

ragged

adjective
rag·​ged ˈrag-əd How to pronounce ragged (audio)
1
: having a rough or uneven edge or outline
ragged cliffs
2
a
: torn or worn to or as if to tatters
a ragged dress
b
: wearing tattered clothes
a ragged child
3
: done in an uneven way
a ragged performance
raggedly adverb
raggedness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on ragged

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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