\ 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

Other Words from rasp


rasper noun
raspingly \ ˈra-​spiŋ-​lē How to pronounce rasp (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
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb City did take their foot off the pedal a little, but Fernandinho still tested Pickford with a rasping drive in the 57th minute, which took a deflection off Calvert-Lewin. SI.com, 31 Mar. 2018 The plummeting temperatures give rise to high-altitude clouds suffused with the CFCs still swirling in Earth’s atmosphere, which then rasp away at the nearby ozone. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Apr. 2020 With rasping percussion early on — four washboards! — dissonances rise through the winds. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 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, 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, 20 Oct. 2019 Ghost crabs owe their rasping stomach growls to a mechanism known as the gastric mill. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, 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, 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, 22 Apr. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Yanya has a singular voice—a disarming rasp that turns every note into a smoldering ember—and her restless pop-rock songs circle her feelings of emptiness and inadequacy. Sheldon Pearce, The New Yorker, 8 Mar. 2022 Pat McAfee, his high-tempo howl reduced to a breathy rasp, was running out of energy. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 10 Feb. 2022 Punchmade Dev, from Lexington, Ky., delivers these lines over a rudimentary beat in a breathless rasp, the voice of a man who is trying to convey crucial information as quickly as possible. New York Times, 14 Mar. 2022 The juice of the grapes is macerated with the skins, which provide a tinge of color and a mild rasp of tannin. New York Times, 13 Jan. 2022 Caywood, a native Californian who sang in a sassy rasp reminiscent of Joplin’s, didn’t know the full story. David Browne, Rolling Stone, 2 Jan. 2022 His voice is a booming rasp that grants gravity to each word while still sounding like a crisp wind is cutting through the syllables. Spin Staff, SPIN, 26 Jan. 2022 Mostly a stage actor who’s best known for her incredible physicality, Hunter communicates the witches’ otherworldliness by gnarling her limbs in strange directions and delivering her lines in a frightening rasp. David Sims, The Atlantic, 12 Jan. 2022 The voice: a low, guttural rasp, it’s the aural equivalent of slithering, the wheezy lamentation of a leprechaun long past his sell-by date. Henry Alford, The New Yorker, 10 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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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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 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for rasp


\ 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, Hear My Cry
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

More from Merriam-Webster on rasp

Nglish: Translation of rasp for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rasp


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