rat·ty | \ˈra-tē \
rattier; rattiest

Definition of ratty 

1a : infested with rats

b : of, relating to, or suggestive of a rat

2 : shabby, unkempt a ratty brown overcoat— John Lardner

3a : despicable, treacherous

b : irritable feeling ratty as hell— Richard Bissell

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Examples of ratty in a Sentence

Those shoes are getting pretty ratty. some ratty old magazines were the only reading material in the mountaintop cabin

Recent Examples on the Web

In fact, there were 50 percent more fish in the reefs around the birdy islands versus the ratty islands. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Coral Reefs Need Fewer Rats and More Bird Poo," 12 July 2018 Next up was a musician, a young guy with ratty blond hair. Kevin Roose, New York Times, "Can ‘Illuminati Tinder’ Save Us All?," 27 June 2018 Tackle football didn’t start until seventh grade around Detroit Lakes, Minn., so Thielen would gather up ratty old pads discarded by the local middle school, slip into a Moss or Carter jersey, and play full-contact against his friends in the snow. Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs Just Need Someone to Throw Them the Damn Ball," 10 Jan. 2018 The results certainly live up to that description, with Mayer romping through premade green-screen filters in pajama pants and a ratty purple hoodie. Morgan Enos, Billboard, "John Mayer's 'New Light' & 8 More Music Videos That Risked Using Green Screen," 24 May 2018 My earliest memories of scrunchies were picking up a few ratty drugstore ones to pineapple my hair with at night in middle school. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "I Recreated Iconic Scrunchie Looks for a Week," 28 May 2018 To keep the plant from looking ratty, water it once a week during dry spells and use a couple of inches of mulch around the plant to help conserve moisture. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow And Prepare Horseradish Straight From Your Garden," 10 Aug. 2017 The food is fair to terrible, the rugs have a ratty feel but seem redeemed by that aura of high-class wear and tear. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Red Caddy," 24 Apr. 2018 Schumer plays Renee Bennett, who works in a ratty Manhattan Chinatown satellite office of a fashionable cosmetics firm. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "'I Feel Pretty' review: Amy Schumer's fable about fat-shaming is frankly depressing," 18 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ratty.' 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 ratty

1865, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Dictionary Entries near ratty


rat trap cheese

rattrap pedal





Statistics for ratty

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Time Traveler for ratty

The first known use of ratty was in 1865

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More Definitions for ratty



English Language Learners Definition of ratty

: in very bad condition

: easily angered or annoyed


rat·ty | \ˈra-tē \
rattier; rattiest

Kids Definition of ratty

: in bad condition : shabby a ratty old sweater

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Comments on ratty

What made you want to look up ratty? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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