rag·​ged | \ ˈra-gəd How to pronounce ragged (audio) \

Definition of ragged

1 : roughly unkempt
2 : having an irregular edge or outline
3a : torn or worn to tatters
b : worn-out from stress and strain ran herself ragged
4 : wearing tattered clothes
5a : straggly
b : executed in an irregular or uneven manner
c of a sound : harsh, dissonant

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from ragged

raggedly adverb
raggedness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for ragged



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of ragged in a Sentence

a boy in ragged jeans You look a little ragged—did you have a rough week?
Recent Examples on the Web The sole survivor, Brian must fend for himself in the Canadian wilderness with only his clothing, a ragged windbreaker and a hatchet — a gift from his mother. Dorany Pineda Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 19 Oct. 2021 The audience had thinned considerably by then, to just a few dozen people, and Swisher’s voice was still ragged. Arielle Pardes, Wired, 1 Oct. 2021 The ragged trees of my youth, up on the hills, looked like ghosts. New York Times, 6 Oct. 2021 The tempest was exhibiting an unusual signature on satellite, appearing with a large but ragged eye. The Washington Post, Arkansas Online, 7 Sep. 2021 Thereafter, everything fell into place, in a ragged sort of way. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 2 Sep. 2021 About 10 miles southwest of Babur, on a lunar-like plain stretching from the foot of a mountain in Panjwayi, stood a ragged collection of tents, where Abdul Khaliq Kochai yearned to return to his nearby village of Zangabad. Daric L. Cottingham, Los Angeles Times, 12 Aug. 2021 Mai was a native of Raiatea, a ragged volcanic island about 130 miles northwest of Tahiti. Hampton Sides, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Sep. 2021 Nails undergo regular wear and tear, from improper gel removal to frequent handwashing—which can lead to ragged cuticles and weak or brittle nails. Erica Metzger, Better Homes & Gardens, 9 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ragged.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ragged

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About ragged

Time Traveler for ragged

Time Traveler

The first known use of ragged was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near ragged



ragged cup

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for ragged

Last Updated

21 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ragged.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ragged. Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ragged



English Language Learners Definition of ragged

: having an edge or surface that is not straight or even
: in bad condition especially because of being torn
: wearing clothes that are torn and in poor condition


rag·​ged | \ ˈra-gəd How to pronounce ragged (audio) \

Kids Definition of ragged

1 : having a rough or uneven edge or outline ragged cliffs
2 : very worn-out : tattered ragged clothes
3 : wearing very worn-out clothes
4 : done in an uneven way a ragged performance

Other Words from ragged

raggedly adverb
raggedness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on ragged

Nglish: Translation of ragged for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ragged for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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