rag·​pick·​er ˈrag-ˌpi-kər How to pronounce ragpicker (audio)
: one who collects rags and refuse for a livelihood

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Rahman Ali, 42, a ragpicker in an eastern suburb of the Indian capital New Delhi earns less than $3 a day by collecting waste from people’s homes and sorting it to salvage whatever can be sold. Aniruddha Ghosal, Anchorage Daily News, 23 May 2022 By situating—or isolating—words, phrases, and sentences in unexpected ways, Jacob gives a surprising weight and importance to a key, a ragpicker, a group of smiling men, three mushrooms, or a Neapolitan beggar. Jed Perl, The New York Review of Books, 25 Feb. 2021 Plastics also support thousands employed informally such as ragpickers as well as street food and market vendors who are reliant on single-use plastic. Manveena Suri, CNN, 3 Oct. 2019 His figures aren’t gleaners or ragpickers or serfs or slaves. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 22 June 2019 A few hundred thousand people earn money from being ragpickers in Delhi. New York Times, 10 June 2018 Political will to find a solution is weakened because of ragpickers who live in nearby slums and remove plastic from the dumps. New York Times, 10 June 2018 Bangladesh may be able to copy India which, despite its 1.3bn people, falls outside the top ten thanks to armies of ragpickers. The Economist, 1 Mar. 2018 The chic type might go to a pricier boutique like Screaming Mimi’s or Gypsy Mens NY — or turn to local ragpickers and craftspeople who now specialize in creating Burning Man costumes. Annie Correal, New York Times, 18 Aug. 2017 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1680, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ragpicker was in 1680

Dictionary Entries Near ragpicker

Cite this Entry

“Ragpicker.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ragpicker. Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


rag·​pick·​er ˈrag-ˌpik-ər How to pronounce ragpicker (audio)
: a person who collects rags and waste for a living
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