ratty

adjective

rat·​ty ˈra-tē How to pronounce ratty (audio)
rattier; rattiest
1
a
: infested with rats
b
: of, relating to, or suggestive of a rat
2
: shabby, unkempt
a ratty brown overcoatJohn Lardner
3
b
: irritable
feeling ratty as hellRichard Bissell

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 The images of Chalamet in a ratty getup, carrying a battered guitar case, circulated on social media ahead of the official first-look images that usually come later. Jazz Monroe, Pitchfork, 18 Mar. 2024 In Chapter 8, Haring is still making art in a basement studio with ratty floors and actual rats. Jackson Arn, The New Yorker, 4 Mar. 2024 He was celebrated as a visionary with a furry thicket of messy hair and a fondness for ratty T-shirts and cargo shorts as his standard uniform. Todd Spangler, Variety, 2 Nov. 2023 Bare ass against the inside of a ratty mascot costume worn in the view of a smokin’ hot crush (role originated by Rick Moranis). Kate Hakala, The New Yorker, 28 Oct. 2023 The Sewer Boys — as well as their parents, who appear in the movie’s climax — are all anatomically endowed underneath their loincloths and ratty T-shirts. Vulture, 24 Oct. 2023 See tuxedos where the culottes are actually basketball shorts; choirboy collars as stiff and soaring as those of a high court judge; hammered bronze and silver sequins matched with sweats or T-shirts; and the most dramatic taffeta opera cloaks over ratty old tighty whities. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, 14 Sep. 2023 This is not a workout shirt that's going to look ratty after a few months of wear. Heath Owens, Men's Health, 19 Aug. 2023 In part, that’s due to the fiction’s high level of verisimilitude — from L.A.’s dives and ratty apartments to the predictable patterns of addiction. Jim Ruland, Los Angeles Times, 6 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ratty.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1865, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of ratty was in 1865

Dictionary Entries Near ratty

Cite this Entry

“Ratty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ratty. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

ratty

adjective
rat·​ty ˈrat-ē How to pronounce ratty (audio)
rattier; rattiest
1
a
: full of rats
ratty dockside warehouses
b
: of or relating to rats
2
: shabby sense 2a
a ratty old sweater

More from Merriam-Webster on ratty

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!