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
Kali appears for the first time in Season 2’s cold open, which features a crew of new characters: ragtag young adults in masks, attempting to flee a crime scene in a van.
Kali appears for the first time in Season 2’s cold open, which features a crew of new characters: ragtag group of young adults in masks, attempting to flee a crime scene in a van.
The film, which is set over one summer and also stars Bria Vinaite and Valeria Cotto, follows precocious six-year old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) and her group of ragtag friends living in the shadow of Disney World.
Some 2,500 students protested outside the venue, while a few hundred were allowed (by Spencer’s ragtag band of organizers, who were allowed to screen attendees beforehand) into the auditorium.
To the ragtag groups of volunteers that help him create his artwork, the sculptor Patrick Dougherty is a boss, a mentor, and a humble peer.
Richard Crapht knows his graffiti is approachable, his green and yellow dragons a crisp, clean addition to the ragtag look of Heaven Skate Park in Hartford.
The first features its protagonists—a ragtag group of teenagers who call themselves the Losers' Club—battling a malevolent evil force that most often appears in the form of a clown called Pennywise.
Oh, never mind: at least Jon has assembled a ragtag team of all-star misfits with which to do his zombie hunting.
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.
Origin and Etymology of ragtag
First Known Use: 1865See Words from the same year
Synonymsassorted, eclectic, heterogeneous, indiscriminate, kitchen-sink, magpie, mixed, motley, patchwork, piebald, promiscuous, raggle-taggle, miscellaneous, varied
Related Wordsmanifold, multifarious; multiple, multiplex, myriad; disparate, divergent, diverse, sundry, various; chaotic, cluttered, confused, disarranged, disarrayed, disheveled (or dishevelled), disordered, farraginous, jumbled, littered, messed, messy, muddled; amalgamated, blended, combined, commingled, commixed, conglomerated, fused, incorporated, intermingled, intermixed, merged, mingled; composite, conglomerate, hybrid; unclassified, unsorted
Near Antonymsmonolithic, uniform; alike, identical, like, same; distinct, distinctive, individual, separate
RAGTAG Defined for English Language Learners
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