\ 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 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 And for those with extra-gnarly calluses, this Tweezerman rasp that writer Kase Wickman uses to shave off the thick husks of skin around the balls of her feet is also on sale. The Editors, The Strategist, "There Are a Bunch of Tweezerman Products on Sale at Ulta Right Now," 26 June 2018 Tiémoué Bakayoko cleared the ball out of the Chelsea area straight to Jonjo Shelvey, whose rasping effort from the edge of the area was diverted past a helpless Courtois by Pérez. SI.com, "Newcastle Soars to Win as Blundering Chelsea Misses Out on Champions League," 13 May 2018 Her dynamism as a box-to-box player — including a rasping long-range shot — has been missed. Jonathan Tannenwald, Philly.com, "Tobin Heath, Christen Press, Julie Ertz return to U.S. women's national team roster for China games," 29 May 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Now, as any horror-movie screenwriter will attest, was the moment to write in the rasp of a car failing to start. David Mcaninch, New York Times, "Seeing the Mountains of France Through a Citroën’s Clouded, Classic Windshield," 15 July 2019 Use a rasp grater to zest the lemon into the blender. Jeanmarie Brownson, Twin Cities, "Homemade harissa sauce sparks ordinary grilled chicken," 11 July 2019 The only sound the dog could be said to produce was the low rasp of the chain against cement. Han Kang, Harper's magazine, "White Out," 10 Feb. 2019 Japanese keyhole saws, gouges, a cheese-grater-like rasp called a microplane and, for the final steps, lots and lots of sandpaper. Bob Shallit, sacbee, "How an ‘accidental artist’ became the zen master of wood," 16 June 2018 What’s left of his blond hair is set off by a bandanna, and his voice is laid-back but definite, with an ingratiating hint of a rasp. New York Times, "Review: ‘Filmworker’ Reveals Stanley Kubrick’s Perfectionism," 10 May 2018 There’s an appealing rasp to Bo Hansen’s singing, a kind of wearied soulfulness that fights with the surrounding din, which is driven by the kaleidoscopic organ filigree of Mary McKane. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "A pair of new acts on Chicago’s Trouble in Mind imprint update scrappy 90s indie rock with shaggy pop melodies," 29 June 2018 The bits where her voice starts cracking and the rasp comes out? Megan Buerger, Billboard, "Zedd & Maren Morris on Why 'The Stakes Were So High' for 'The Middle'," 17 May 2018 Laferte, who was born in Chile and raised in Mexico City, has a sweet rasp in her voice that belies its power. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "Juanes and Mon Laferte enchant Smart Financial Centre crowd," 5 May 2018

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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Statistics for rasp

Last Updated

26 Sep 2019

Time Traveler for rasp

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

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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

Comments on rasp

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concealed or difficult to comprehend

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