scrag·​gly ˈskra-g(ə-)lē How to pronounce scraggly (audio)
: irregular in form or growth
scraggly hills
a scraggly beard
also : unkempt

Examples of scraggly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This kid gorilla leads Kong to a tribe of scraggly hostile apes who are living in a slave society presided over by the Skar King, an evil ape with blotchy red hair who’s as tall as Kong and wields a skeletal bone whip that looks like it was fashioned out of the spine of a sea serpent. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 28 Mar. 2024 There was scraggly grass in one sand trap and wooden blocks and a toy castle in another, evidence of children at play. Cara Buckley, New York Times, 15 Feb. 2024 Something really touched me watching the video of a scraggly man on the treadmill and a photograph of an old lady sitting on a grand chair grinning from ear to ear. Niha Masih, Washington Post, 18 July 2022 For the red seaweed Gracilaria gracilis, which grows in scraggly clumps, this is a particular problem. Jack Tamisiea, Scientific American, 28 July 2022 O’Neal pulled off the road next to some open land studded with scraggly bushes. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 11 Apr. 2022 By the time the school day began, a scraggly line of kids and their parents stretched out the door, down the hallway, and outside into the sunshine. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 10 Nov. 2021 Before purchasing a wagonload of rose plants, and then scratching your head over what to do with those scraggly things, read up for tips on how to prepare a proper home for your rose bushes. Patricia S York, Southern Living, 25 Mar. 2021 But the truth is, turkeys really only need a couple of scraggly ones to roost in. Gerald Almy, Field & Stream, 19 Mar. 2021

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

Word History


alteration of scraggling, perhaps irregular from scraggy entry 2

First Known Use

1849, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of scraggly was in 1849

Dictionary Entries Near scraggly

Cite this Entry

“Scraggly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


scrag·​gly ˈskrag-(ə-)lē How to pronounce scraggly (audio)
scragglier; scraggliest
: of rough or uneven outline : ragged, unkempt
a scraggly beard
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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