\ˈrȯ \
rawer\ˈrȯ(-ə)r \; rawest\ˈrȯ-əst \

Definition of raw 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not cooked

2a(1) : being in or nearly in the natural state : not processed or purified raw fibers raw sewage

(2) : not diluted or blended raw spirits

b : unprepared or imperfectly prepared for use

c : not being in polished, finished, or processed form raw data a raw draft of a thesis

3a(1) : having the surface abraded or chafed

(2) : very irritated a raw sore throat

b : lacking covering : naked

c : not protected : susceptible to hurt raw emotions

4a : lacking experience or understanding : green a raw recruit

b(1) : marked by absence of refinements

(2) : vulgar, coarse raw language

c : not tempered : unbridled raw power

5 : disagreeably damp or cold a raw winter day



Definition of raw (Entry 2 of 2)

: a raw place or state

in the raw

1 : in a natural, unrefined, or crude state

2 : naked slept in the raw

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Other Words from raw


rawly adverb
rawness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for raw


rude, rough, crude, raw mean lacking in social refinement. rude implies ignorance of or indifference to good form; it may suggest intentional discourtesy. rude behavior rough is likely to stress lack of polish and gentleness. rough manners crude may apply to thought or behavior limited to the gross, the obvious, or the primitive. a crude joke raw suggests being untested, inexperienced, or unfinished. turning raw youths into polished performers

Examples of raw in a Sentence


He entered the raw data into a spreadsheet. The shoes rubbed my heels raw. His throat was raw from the cold air.


a secluded swimming hole where we could swim in the raw
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Pieces in the collection included a focus on raw, unfinished materials, including leather trousers and trenchcoats, or thick, intestine-like wool belts. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "How 6 Indigenous Designers Are Using Fashion to Reclaim Their Culture," 30 May 2018 Of course, this kind of raw Achievement data can only tell us so much. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Analysis: Player interest in Call of Duty’s campaigns is cratering," 21 May 2018 In addition to the ratings, all the raw data, including a 26-page survey submitted by each city, is available for viewing. Aaron Gulley, Outside Online, "Ranking the Most Bike-Friendly Cities in the U.S.," 9 May 2018 The investigation into the cruelty of women is the raw, beating heart of Sharp Objects. refinery29.com, "Sharp Objects Review: It’s Exactly What You Need During The Big Little Lies Drought," 5 July 2018 Almost none of the water is clean, raw sewage is pumped straight into the sea and worsening power shortages mean Gazans have electricity for only around four hours a day on average. NBC News, "Why Palestinians risk their lives to protest near Gaza-Israel fence," 21 June 2018 In terms of raw numbers, Boston had the most million-dollar earners with 2,131, followed by Newton (1,276), Wellesley (864), Weston (548), and Brookline (490). Matt Rocheleau, BostonGlobe.com, "These Mass. communities had the most at stake in the ‘millionaires tax’ case," 18 June 2018 Those percentage changes were calculated by the raw number of voters in each age cohort. Holly Otterbein, Philly.com, "Millennials were the only generation whose voter turnout increased in Philly this year," 18 June 2018 The economy suffered another blow in late 2016, when local media began reporting regularly on raw sewage spouting out of manholes along the southern coast, Barbados’s main tourist area. The Economist, "The opposition wins every seat in the Barbados Parliament," 31 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Cartons of raw shelled eggs and tofu at improper temperature. Ryan Santistevan, azcentral, "Restaurant inspections: Handwashing a problem at six eateries," 9 May 2018 The Peanut Barn buys raw shelled peanuts to cook and flavor or grind into paste for its handcrafted and popular Natural Peanut Butter. Robert Anglen, azcentral, "'Buy local' food programs deceive consumers and are rarely enforced, a USA TODAY Network investigation finds," 2 Mar. 2018 Or the movie that’s making viewers pass out, like that cannibal horror film Raw. Kenzie Bryant, Vanities, "Jennifer Lawrence’s Boyfriend, Darron Aronofsky, Doesn’t Understand Her Housewives Obsession," 9 Aug. 2017 Or the movie that’s making viewers pass out, like that cannibal horror film Raw. Kenzie Bryant, vanityfair.com, "Jennifer Lawrence’s Boyfriend, Darren Aronofsky, Doesn’t Understand Her Housewives Obsession," 9 Aug. 2017

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1823, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for raw


Middle English, from Old English hrēaw; akin to Old High German hrō raw, Latin crudus raw, cruor blood, Greek kreas flesh

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Learn More about raw

Dictionary Entries near raw



ravison oil



raw bar


Phrases Related to raw

a raw deal

touch/strike/hit a raw nerve

Statistics for raw

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for raw

The first known use of raw was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for raw



English Language Learners Definition of raw

: not cooked

: in a natural state : not treated or prepared

: not yet organized or changed in any way


\ˈrȯ \
rawer; rawest

Kids Definition of raw

1 : not cooked raw fish

2 : having the skin scraped or roughened She had raw red hands.

3 : being in or nearly in the natural state : not treated or prepared raw sewage

4 : not trained or experienced raw recruits

5 : unpleasantly damp or cold a raw day

6 : lacking a normal or usual finish the raw edge of a seam

Other Words from raw

rawness noun

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Comments on raw

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lying above or upon

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