\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

Vegetables: Prepare a batch of roasted Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, fennel, and so on, but also add in some chopped, shredded, or thinly-sliced raw veggies. Carrie Dennett, The Seattle Times, "Grain bowls are trending. Here’s how to make your own.," 28 Nov. 2018 Most importantly: Who on earth would eat a raw cranberry?! Ella Cerón, Teen Vogue, "Gavin Leatherwood Bastes a Turkey in Netflix's Thanksgiving Spot," 21 Nov. 2018 Heavy wood furniture, made from raw logs, boards, and stone is common. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Rustic Design," 26 Oct. 2018 Your skin will thank you for it (or, at the very least, not hate you for scrubbing it raw). Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "How to Use a Konjac Sponge for Your Best Skin Ever," 22 Oct. 2018 Floor-to-ceiling windows on the lower level filter sunlight into the raw concrete spaces, casting a cool glow over the monochromatic interior. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Alejandro Aravena’s Chilean concrete beauty on the market for $1.5M," 18 Oct. 2018 Repeated audience outbursts during the Senate’s final Kavanaugh vote, as well as the protests in the halls of Congress and in front of the Supreme Court, underscored the raw emotion over the Kavanaugh nomination. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation Battle Tests Supreme Court’s Chief Justice," 7 Oct. 2018 The unit houses hundreds of data experts and specialists that consume thousands of raw data sources and shape them into usable information for investors. Telis Demos, WSJ, "Wall Street Analysts Are Now Selling More Data, Less Analysis," 7 Nov. 2018 After viewing the raw data from these satellites, NASA then turned to its Goddard Earth Observing System Forward Processing model to process the data. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "NASA's Global Aerosol Map Reveals the Long Reach of our Planet's Disasters," 27 Aug. 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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Dictionary Entries near raw



ravison oil



raw bar


Statistics for raw

Last Updated

8 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on raw

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with raw

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for raw

Spanish Central: Translation of raw

Nglish: Translation of raw for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of raw for Arabic Speakers

Comments on raw

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


to enclose within walls

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