rat·​ty | \ ˈra-tē How to pronounce ratty (audio) \
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
b : irritable feeling ratty as hell— Richard 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 Your own eyes will adjust to size up her lurking silhouette: two ratty ears, candy-corn teeth, a loaf of a body, and a spindly tail behind her. Elaine Godfrey, The Atlantic, 20 July 2022 But this isn't some ratty stockpile of last season's clothing collections. Christian Gollayan, Men's Health, 15 July 2022 He's been living in his ratty old sweats all year, so consider these Champion ones an overdue upgrade. Cameron Jenkins, Good Housekeeping, 20 Apr. 2022 For its set design, Backyard Theater Ensemble goes with a mix of some ratty, comfy furniture and a hipster wall hanging, and that’s it. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 7 Apr. 2022 Nearly $2 billion in new development is bringing homes, offices, shops, and parks to a ratty part of the city. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 12 Mar. 2022 In the mid-70s, punks dressed up their anti-establishment aggression in painted, studded leather jackets and ratty band shirts. New York Times, 23 Feb. 2022 Ask everyone to launder the goods first—and remind them to donate only clothing of a quality that a secondhand store would purchase; no ratty stuff. Outside Online, 3 Dec. 2021 My late grandfather spent most of his weekends holed up in his study—a sunken room, adorned with a ratty Chesterfield sofa and posters from various international chess championships—listening to opera. The New Yorker, 13 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of ratty

1865, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Dictionary Entries Near ratty

rattrap pedal



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Cite this Entry

“Ratty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ratty. Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for ratty


rat·​ty | \ ˈra-tē How to pronounce ratty (audio) \
rattier; rattiest

Kids Definition of ratty

: in bad condition : shabby a ratty old sweater

More from Merriam-Webster on ratty

Nglish: Translation of ratty for Spanish Speakers


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