ragtag

adjective rag·tag \ ˈrag-ˌtag \
Updated on: 18 Nov 2017

Definition of ragtag

2 :motley 2
  • a ragtag bunch of misfits

ragtag was our Word of the Day on 02/11/2017. Hear the podcast!

Examples of ragtag in a Sentence

  1. a ragtag group of musicians

  2. the team was a ragtag bunch who had only one thing in common: a lack of skill

Recent Examples of ragtag from the Web

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

ragtag and bobtail


RAGTAG Defined for English Language Learners

ragtag

adjective

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

ragtag

adjective rag·tag \ ˈrag-ˌtag \

Definition of ragtag for Students

:not well organized or put together The ragtag team somehow won the game.


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