\ 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 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
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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, "Everton 1-3 Man City: Visitors Sweep Toffees Aside As Premier League Title Edges Closer," 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, "Why This Rare, Huge Ozone Hole Over the Arctic Is Troubling Scientists," 1 Apr. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun He's got a great rasp to his voice and immediately hits you with the emotion of the song without even trying. Maggie Fremont, EW.com, "American Idol recap: Have we already met some front-runners?," 22 Feb. 2021 Throughout the day, Garland spoke in low tones, with a slight rasp to his voice. Washington Post, "Merrick Garland finally speaks. His words were worth the wait.," 22 Feb. 2021 Wallen's voice is as much rock as country, arriving with a grunge rasp. Jon Pareles New York Times, Star Tribune, "New music review: Morgan Wallen escapes to a rural Neverland fantasy," 21 Jan. 2021 Goree captures the familiar rasp and melody of the voice, and also the champion’s wit and exuberance. New York Times, "One Night in Miami," 14 Jan. 2021 Small enough to fit in a glove box, this kit includes a tire rasp and insertion tools, a tube scuff pad, six assorted patches, five 4-inch tire plugs and a small tube of rubber cement. Hannah Drown, cleveland, "15 essential items for winter emergencies, snowstorms to keep in your car," 1 Dec. 2020 But Jus Jon is up against Jim Ranger doing something emotional and intimate, and that, paired with his soulful rasp, really draws the coaches in. Maggie Fremont, EW.com, "The Voice recap: The emotional performances stand out during the Knockouts," 24 Nov. 2020 These are generally amber in color, with a mild rasp of tannin and often go well with umami-rich dishes. The New York Times News Service Syndicate, The Denver Post, "A veggie burger unlike the others," 16 July 2020 To give the bench an aged appearance, use a rasp or sanding block to rub through the paint along the lower edges of the legs' corners. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How To Build a Stylish Entryway Storage Bench," 27 June 2020

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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Statistics for rasp

Cite this Entry

“Rasp.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rasp. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for rasp



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

Nglish: Translation of rasp for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rasp

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