\ ˈrasp How to pronounce rasp (audio) \
rasped; rasping; rasps

Definition of rasp

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to rub with something rough specifically : to abrade with a rasp
2 : to grate upon : irritate
3 : to utter in a raspy tone

intransitive verb

1 : scrape
2 : to produce a grating sound



Definition of rasp (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a coarse file with cutting points instead of lines
2 : something used for rasping
3a : an act of rasping
b : a rasping sound, sensation, or effect

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Other Words from rasp


rasper noun
raspingly \ ˈra-​spiŋ-​lē How to pronounce raspingly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for rasp

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of rasp in a Sentence

Verb “Let go of my arm,” she rasped. The metal boxes rasped as they were dragged across the floor. Noun the rusted lock opened with a rasp
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb With rasping percussion early on — four washboards! — dissonances rise through the winds. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Conductor Fabio Luisi gets new suavity, subtlety and plenty of drama from the Dallas Symphony," 10 Jan. 2020 While studying the ghost crabs, researchers noticed that when they were involved in agonistic interactions, the crustaceans made the aggressive rasping noises even with their claws outstretched. Amy Woodyatt And Allen Kim, CNN, "Ghost crabs 'growl' from their stomachs, scientists find," 12 Sep. 2019 Sometimes a bleaty quality crept in, sometimes a dry high note was rasped or snarled, sometimes an ornament emerged with the bite of a buzz saw. Anne Midgette, Washington Post, "Christian Gerhaher’s Mahler recital stabs listeners in the heart," 20 Oct. 2019 Ghost crabs owe their rasping stomach growls to a mechanism known as the gastric mill. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Ghost Crabs Use Teeth in Their Stomachs to Ward Off Predators," 12 Sep. 2019 The beach-dwelling crustacean can create loud rasping sounds, not only with its claws, but also with its guts, new research reveals. David Shultz, Science | AAAS, "Listen to a ghost crab frighten away enemies—with its stomach rumbles," 10 Sep. 2019 Handanovic was called upon again moments later to keep out Emanuele Giaccherini's rasping effort from the right hand side of the box, as Chievo sought the opening goal that perhaps their positive play had warranted. SI.com, "Chievo 1-2 Inter: Handanovic Stars As Nerazzurri Deny Spirited Chievo Much Needed Point," 22 Apr. 2018 In the 90th minute, with a rasping shot across goal, Van de Sanden forced a fine save from Lindahl but it was left to Groenen create history. Aimee Lewis, CNN, "Netherlands will face US in Women's World Cup final after beating Sweden," 3 July 2019 The Dutch waited for the match to start before getting their revenge, unleashing a barrage of fouls against the Argentineans before twice almost scoring; Rep narrowly heading the ball wide and then having a rasping shot saved well by Fillol. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 4 Days to Go - What if Johan Cruyff Had Made the Trip to Argentina?," 10 June 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This misadventure turns to true chaos, though, when Jamie Dornan arrives, his hair wet-like and his voice a hollow rasp. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "This ‘Imagine’ Cover Is No Heaven," 20 Mar. 2020 Thick, cold air would slow the tremor of vocal cords and the speed of sound itself, deepening your voice and giving it a rasp. Popular Science, "What your voice would sound like on other planets and moons," 26 Jan. 2020 The crosscut made a sudden rasp, and the vibration in the handle changed. John Jeremiah Sullivan, The New Yorker, "Mother Nut," 23 Dec. 2019 Lupita Nyong’o, who transformed her voice into a guttural rasp and excelled in two extremely different roles, won best actress at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, but failed to register with the HFPA. Time, "The Biggest Snubs and Surprises of the 2020 Golden Globe Nominations," 9 Dec. 2019 Richard said in his Johnny Cash-sounding, John Wayne-cadenced rasp. Washington Post, "The unique, unlikely celebrity of Tfue," 13 Jan. 2020 Lumbly does a good approximation of the trademark rasp. BostonGlobe.com, "MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL," 26 Sep. 2019 As Kitchens talked to the media, his voice was sometimes a rasp. Terry Pluto, cleveland, "Season finally over, change must be coming for Cleveland Browns," 29 Dec. 2019 Bob Dylan, Christmas in the Heart (2009) Bob Dylan's Christmas in the Heart juxtaposes the legendary folk troubadour's exaggerated rasp with mostly straightforward interpretations of familiar seasonal classics. Sal Cinquemani, Billboard, "21 Best Christmas Albums of the 21st Century," 17 Dec. 2019

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

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First Known Use of rasp


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


circa 1512, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rasp


Middle English, from Anglo-French *rasper, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German raspōn to scrape together

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Time Traveler for rasp

Time Traveler

The first known use of rasp was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Rasp.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rasp. Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for rasp


How to pronounce rasp (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rasp

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to speak in a way that sounds rough or harsh
: to make a rough, harsh sound
: to rub (something) with a rough object or substance



English Language Learners Definition of rasp (Entry 2 of 2)

: a metal tool that has sharp points and that is used to make rough surfaces smooth
: a rough, harsh sound


\ ˈrasp How to pronounce rasp (audio) \
rasped; rasping

Kids Definition of rasp

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to say with or make a harsh sound “Who was it?” I rasped, holding my breath.— Mildred D. Taylor, Roll of Thunder
2 : to rub with or as if with a rough object or substance I rasped off the rough edges.



Kids Definition of rasp (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a harsh sound or sensation
2 : a coarse file used for shaping or smoothing

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More from Merriam-Webster on rasp

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rasp

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rasp

Spanish Central: Translation of rasp

Nglish: Translation of rasp for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rasp

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