rag

1 of 5

noun (1)

1
a
: 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

rag

2 of 5

noun (2)

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

rag

3 of 5

verb

ragged ˈragd How to pronounce rag (audio) ; ragging

transitive verb

1
: to rail at : scold
2

rag

4 of 5

noun (3)

chiefly British
: an outburst of boisterous fun
also : prank

rag

5 of 5

noun (4)

: a composition in ragtime
Phrases
rag on
: to make fun of

Examples of rag in a Sentence

Verb several readers called in to rag the editor for his paper's repeated grammatical lapses
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Annie Selkie has over 700 styles of natural sisal and jute, knotted wool, versatile indoor/outdoor rugs, and even leather rag rugs available online and in stores around the country. Carrie Honaker, Southern Living, 11 Sep. 2023 Then wipe down the outside of the windows with a wet rag. Jennifer Barger, Washington Post, 31 Oct. 2023 However, after the disinfectant dries, food-contact surfaces should typically be rinsed with a wet rag or paper towel. Jessica Comstock, Better Homes & Gardens, 30 Oct. 2023 According to the local rag, Gates was said to have bought the historic property through his Four Seasons real estate company and planned to turn the building into a luxury resort. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 6 Oct. 2023 If the ceiling is coated with paint or another finish that allows for scrubbing, spray the vinegar directly on the ceiling and wipe with a clean rag. Megan Boettcher, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Sep. 2023 Once the cleaning process is complete, wipe the shoes with a clean, wet rag to eliminate any remaining dirt, debris, or cleaning solution. Maryal Miller Carter, USA TODAY, 11 Aug. 2023 This convenient roll is easy to access with reusable, washable rags in a convenient tear-away roll. Margaret Drake, Rolling Stone, 26 Sep. 2023 Use a scrub brush, sponge, or clean rag to remove mold stains. Megan Boettcher, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Sep. 2023
Verb
Even sportscasters appear to be run ragged by the probabilities. John Otis, New York Times, 7 Nov. 2023 Finally, at the very end of the night, there was a quickly emptying Coliseum field dotted with giddy Huskies dancing around grim security guards, yet another team that showed up and ran the Trojans ragged. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, 5 Nov. 2023 Type 3 is smooth, soft, and sausage-shaped, while type 4 is slightly mushy and has ragged edges.6 Signs of Unhealthy Bowel Function Constipation and diarrhea are signs of bowel dysfunction and are both relatively common. Elizabeth Pratt, Health, 20 Sep. 2023 Terhune is intimate with this working-class portrait of America, its fences, porch flags, televangelists, crop prices and ragged men wandering roads with cardboard signs. Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times, 18 Oct. 2023 Good companions for early-flowering bulbs are late-sprouting perennials, so that by the time the bulbs are looking ragged and losing foliage for summer dormancy, the perennial is hiding it with fresh foliage. Miri Talabac, Baltimore Sun, 7 Sep. 2023 Dull blades tear the grass tips instead of making a clean cut, and those wounds increase the vulnerability of the grass to infection in addition to just making the lawn look a bit more ragged overall. Miri Talabac, Baltimore Sun, 3 Aug. 2023 Creeping types often become ragged in winter; if this happens, cut them back to the ground in late winter before spring growth begins. Species and Selections There are dozens of selections of thyme. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 30 June 2023 The new attack, unsurprisingly, looked ragged for much of OTAs and minicamp. Baltimore Sun Staff, Baltimore Sun, 26 June 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

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

Noun (2)

Middle English ragge

Verb

origin unknown

Noun (4)

short for ragtime

First Known Use

Noun (1)

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

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1739, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (3)

1825, in the meaning defined above

Noun (4)

1881, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near rag

Cite this Entry

“Rag.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rag. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

rag

1 of 3 noun
1
: a waste or worn piece of cloth
2
plural : shabby or very worn clothing
dressed in rags
3
: newspaper
especially : a low quality newspaper

rag

2 of 3 verb
ragged; ragging
1
: to rail at : scold
2

rag

3 of 3 noun
: a composition in ragtime
Etymology

Verb

origin unknown

More from Merriam-Webster on rag

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