ragtag was our Word of the Day on 02/11/2017. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of ragtag in a Sentence
a ragtag group of musicians
the team was a ragtag bunch who had only one thing in common: a lack of skill
Recent Examples of ragtag from the Web
Rogers, who populated his show with adorably ragtag puppets, used one of them, Daniel Tiger, to explain what had happened.
Still, Masten Space Systems is undermanned and underfunded, a ragtag bunch out in the desert, drilling and hammering and soldering in their small badlands garage down the block from the rich folk.
Nobody expected this ragtag Cleveland outfit to give Golden State any trouble, and there Game 1 was, ready for the taking.
Hansen describes the ass-kicking of him and his ragtag team of alternative-sports specialists with the rigor of any serious sports reporter.
Surrounded and barely able to communicate with the ragtag remnants of the Wehrmacht, Hitler realized that his dreams of a thousand-year empire, or Reich, were over.
In real history, this is the day that a ragtag group of soldiers pull off one of the most audacious operations of the entire war: sail gunboats into the heart of enemy territory, burn Southern plantations, and rescue all the enslaved people.
Bundy reacted by turning his ranch into a stronghold and gathering a ragtag militia who came toting guns and copies of the Constitution.
In it, MacDorman and colleagues tried to amass the ragtag data from individual states to come up with a country-wide estimate of maternal mortality rates.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ragtag.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Breaking Down ragtag
Tag and rag was a relatively common expression in the 16th and 17th centuries, and it was often used pejoratively to refer to members of the lower classes of society. By the 18th century, the phrase had been expanded to "rag, tag and bobtail." That expression could mean either "the lower classes" or "the entire lot of something" (as opposed to just the more desirable parts - the entire unit of an army, for example, not just its more capable soldiers). Something described as "ragtag and bobtail," then, was usually common and unspectacular. "Ragtag and bobtail" was eventually shortened to "ragtag," the adjective we know today, which can describe an odd mixture that is often hastily assembled or second-rate.
RAGTAG Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of ragtag for English Language Learners
: made up of different people or things and not organized or put together well
RAGTAG Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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