Definition of raw in English:



  • 1(of food) not cooked.

    ‘raw eggs’
    ‘salsify can be eaten raw in salads’
    • ‘Pregnant women should avoid foods made with raw or partially cooked eggs, like egg nog and hollandaise sauce.’
    • ‘Both dishes were marvellous; fine raw ingredients cooked to juicy, succulent perfection and allowed to stand for themselves without the need for endless sauces and marinades.’
    • ‘Our mothers cooked real food from raw ingredients, making magical meals out of very little.’
    • ‘Eating diets that consist of only raw, uncooked foods is a small but influential trend.’
    • ‘Eat only cooked foods and not raw, which are harder to digest.’
    • ‘Keep the kitchen clean, especially when preparing raw meat, eggs, and poultry.’
    • ‘Avoid fruit juices, raw vegetables, salads, and any raw or undercooked eggs, meat, and seafood.’
    • ‘Don't use raw eggs in food that will not be cooked, such as chocolate mousse or homemade mayonnaise.’
    • ‘When raw meat is cooked, the outside turns brown and the brown colour gradually spreads inwards.’
    • ‘Avoid uncooked food, such as raw fruits and vegetables, instead sticking to cooked veggies and meats.’
    • ‘Place cooked meats and raw items for the barbecue, as well as items more likely to be used last, on the bottom of the cooler close to the cooling source.’
    • ‘He's thinking about opening another shop, and perhaps a restaurant where you could choose your slab of raw meat for cooking.’
    • ‘Hands should also be washed frequently while preparing foods, especially between handling raw and cooked food.’
    • ‘Do not eat foods with raw or undercooked eggs, such as Caesar salad and raw cookie dough, or drink eggnog.’
    • ‘Fresh raw beans have a crunchy sweetness; when cooked, they are rich and creamy.’
    • ‘To avoid illness, travellers are advised not to eat shellfish or raw foods such as salad that have been washed in unboiled or unclean water.’
    • ‘She stood there in flip-flops and an orange silk blouse, cooking soy-sauced strips of raw beef.’
    • ‘Joey had bought a packet of sausages for them, at the greengrocer's nearby, and together they cooked the raw meat over the fire.’
    • ‘Perishable food, such as raw or cooked meat and poultry, must be kept cold or frozen at the store and at home.’
    • ‘Keep raw and cooked foods separate and use different plates and utensils for them.’
    uncooked, fresh
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1(of a material or substance) in its natural state; unprocessed.
      ‘raw silk’
      ‘raw sewage’
      • ‘The London Assembly has launched an investigation into why 600,000 tonnes of raw sewage was pumped into the Thames last month, killing thousands of fish.’
      • ‘The bride, given in marriage by her father Frank, looked radiant in an ivory raw silk dress with diamanté detail and long train.’
      • ‘Large shipments of raw silk, tea, and coffee, as well as the traditional pepper and spices, also came from Asia.’
      • ‘The bride, given in matrimony by her father Tom, looked very elegant in a gown of white raw silk, perfectly adorned with diamanté stones and full length train.’
      • ‘One thing you should remember - unless you have gone rustic and want to play with stone and raw wood - building materials come in standard sizes.’
      • ‘There'll always be a huge demand here for raw wool from Australia, provided we can keep the spindles here spinning wool and keep them away from spinning synthetics.’
      • ‘Similar in texture and appearance to paint, these materials can be applied to almost any building material, including raw wood, drywall and steel.’
      • ‘I found a pink raw silk jacket with covered buttons, a soft leopard vest and a cream wool shell covered with opalescent sequins and beads.’
      • ‘The bride looked stunning in an ivory and gold raw silk dress of Irish design and carried a bouquet of delicate cream roses.’
      • ‘Usually the water mixes with the raw sewage, clogging up the drainage system.’
      • ‘There were urban myths of two-headed, glow-in-the-dark fish, but even the added presence of raw sewage in our local harbour was not enough to deter us from swimming and fishing there.’
      unprocessed, untreated, unrefined, crude, natural, unmilled, unprepared, unfinished
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2(of data) not analysed, evaluated, or processed for use.
      ‘there were a number of errors in the raw data’
      • ‘All x-ray scans are raw data with no processing of any kind.’
      • ‘The results from analyses of the raw data are available upon request from the author.’
      • ‘Our raw web statistics show 3.5 million visits for March.’
      • ‘I'm a bit cloudy on the dates, so I'll leave those out and just go with the raw facts.’
      • ‘Besides presentation of the data in the form of diverse graphs, evaluation of the raw data is also possible.’
      • ‘The unique relationship between analysis and raw information is essential to producing useful intelligence.’
      • ‘The raw data are analysed by the team's DNA analysts, put into a proper format, and entered into the DNA databases.’
      • ‘Traditional empiricists thought that perception was a two-step process: raw perception and interpretation of it.’
      • ‘Sometimes it is justifiable to go beyond raw statistics.’
      • ‘Annotation is the process of converting raw DNA sequence data into biological knowledge.’
      • ‘I wanted to get beyond the raw statistics, the charts and the predictions.’
      • ‘The net result is that using statistical analysis on raw primary sequence data sometimes leads to rather unlikely results.’
      • ‘The questionnaire and raw data are available on request.’
      • ‘An article was judged as empirical if it manipulated some type of raw data in its analysis.’
      • ‘In some studies, new analyses were performed from raw data supplied by the principal investigators.’
      • ‘The raw data is then processed through layers of neurons.’
      • ‘I therefore wrote to a large range of other users of the questionnaire and asked for copies of their raw data so that I could carry out the requisite analyses myself.’
      • ‘Here, we discuss some of more interesting preliminary findings garnered from a descriptive statistical analysis of the raw data.’
      • ‘Figure 4 summarizes the test system, which includes the data processing software to process the raw data.’
      • ‘With so much raw data and so many things you can do with that data, coupled with a big random element, you are going to get lots of patterns.’
  • 2(of a part of the body) red and painful, especially as the result of skin abrasion.

    ‘he scrubbed his hands until they were raw’
    • ‘Stiff muscles and raw skin make basic movements extremely difficult.’
    • ‘My hands still bleed if I move my fingers too quickly, but the doc says the raw skin and general tenderness will gradually go away.’
    • ‘She pleaded, wincing as she rubbed her raw skin.’
    • ‘Riders were getting their raw and ripped skin attended to by the St John's volunteers and others were getting more serious injuries like broken bones assessed by doctors on the scene.’
    • ‘‘She hit me,’ he said, his voice subdued as he raised his hand up to his face, rubbing the raw skin.’
    • ‘She rubbed her skin, it was raw and ached at the touch.’
    • ‘The wounds were still too raw and painful for the fragile bandages to be removed.’
    • ‘This potent grease-cutting chemical melts away the first few layers of skin on my hands, leaving them dry, cracked and painfully raw.’
    • ‘I was still furiously wiping at my eyes with my sleeve, and my skin was raw from the friction.’
    • ‘Mischa scooped out some creamy-white ointment and carefully applied it to the raw, bloody skin on Hazel's right leg and foot, gently rubbing it into the sore skin.’
    • ‘He scrubbed his skin until it was raw and red, stopping to look down at a tattoo on his right upper arm.’
    • ‘Some grazes only take off the surface layer of skin leaving a raw tender area underneath, some are much deeper.’
    • ‘It tore at his skin, ripping it raw and re-opening his chapped lips so they bled painfully.’
    • ‘He picked himself up, his hands were raw and skinned.’
    • ‘After scrubbing down so hard that my skin was raw I finally got out.’
    • ‘I scrubbed until my skin was raw.’
    • ‘Annie removed the towel from his injury exposing the raw pink skin underneath.’
    • ‘Washing your hands so often that that your skin is raw and bleeding - that I can see too.’
    • ‘Gingerly flexing my wrists, I see the skin underneath is raw and blistered.’
    • ‘Without looking, Otto knew the skin was open and raw underneath.’
    sore, red, inflamed, painful, sensitive, tender
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1(of a person's nerves) very sensitive.
      figurative ‘Fran's nerves were raw’
      • ‘Initially the forthcoming destruction of her own home had struck a raw nerve, but since then she had been persuaded by the philosophy that when you've started you may as well finish the thing.’
      • ‘That strikes a raw nerve with the chief executive at a time when he is hyper-sensitive to criticism.’
      • ‘When the mudthrowing and name calling becomes nasty, then you know a raw nerve has been prodded.’
      • ‘In doing so he seems to have struck a very raw nerve indeed.’
      • ‘As she finishes her story, nerves are raw and eyes wet all around the courtroom.’
      • ‘I was surprised and amused that my letter should have hit such a raw nerve with Mrs Jones.’
      • ‘But certainly that struck, unfortunately, a rather raw nerve there.’
      • ‘It was too emotive a subject, the public's nerves were too raw, and I was convinced my publisher would have no appetite for a book whose subject matter was ripped from today's headlines.’
      • ‘It seems that my advertisement has struck a raw nerve with the councillor.’
      • ‘But to be funny it has to hit the raw nerve of truth - or be so grotesque it is funny in its own right.’
      • ‘On the other, it encourages an irrational climate in which any old conspiratorial tosh can be taken seriously, providing it touches the correct raw nerve.’
      • ‘Though perhaps I'm just kidding myself and this has struck a raw nerve in me.’
      • ‘Oh good grief, I've touched on a raw nerve there then.’
      • ‘I think we must have touched a couple of raw nerves, a couple of very raw nerves.’
      • ‘The news agenda has left the realm of shock and raw nerves and moved into the world of political negotiation, peace-keeping forces and re-building programmes.’
      • ‘Those figures may have been dubious but, for an itinerant preacher, he had a pretty way with words that struck a raw nerve.’
      • ‘Who could have known that this little volume would hit such a global raw nerve (the hardback version has sold more than 3m copies)?’
      • ‘And, finally, the programme also struck a raw nerve or two, but the less said about that the better.’
      • ‘Those same raw nerves, however, also spilled into every bar of the opera's music and also explain the torrential savagery of the emotions it recreates in the listener.’
      • ‘But it also leads to greater public insecurity and confusion, raw nerves that can readily be touched upon by scares about immigration and asylum.’
      delicate, easily damaged, fragile
      View synonyms
  • 3(of an emotion or quality) strong and undisguised.

    ‘he exuded an air of raw, vibrant masculinity’
    • ‘Reading about it obviously brought a lot of raw emotions and memories to the forefront of people's minds.’
    • ‘I loved it, so much style and the raw emotion at the moment of the revelation is spectacular.’
    • ‘Conveying more raw emotion than some songs with vocals, this song has soundclips of an old man accepting his fate and a gospel singer singing with guitar and keyboard.’
    • ‘Suddenly, the potential of reality TV and its raw emotions are revealed in this wonderful, bewitching, heart-warming documentary.’
    • ‘He stated that the raw feeling of the emotions that brought him to tears is what startled him the most.’
    • ‘Well, you know, the emotions are still raw in this city, even a couple of years later.’
    • ‘Outwardly I cope well with these situations but inwardly, so much raw emotion and intensity I find hard to deal with at times.’
    • ‘But she says she is careful to reflect the grief and raw emotion of both sides equally.’
    • ‘It is the intensity of her vision, the raw emotion, that is so impressive.’
    • ‘The event is expected to be a supercharged night of high emotion and raw nostalgia when one of the greatest adventure stories of all time will be told by the men who made it happen.’
    • ‘If you don't know by now that you're going to get a lot of raw emotion here, then you're never going to figure that out.’
    • ‘The emotions are so raw for so long that you wonder whether you can handle any kind of involvement.’
    • ‘The emotion was raw, the anger was genuine and the agony was heartfelt.’
    • ‘Given a second chance to prove himself, he finally allows all the raw emotion to express itself through the intensity of his rap lyrics.’
    • ‘The fast footwork, rhythmic clapping and haunting singing radiate an atmosphere of passion and raw emotion.’
    • ‘It would be a shame, this team has worked so hard all year and the passion and raw emotion with which they play is something this competition needs desperately.’
    • ‘Sports bring out intense feelings sometimes and my raw emotions came out.’
    • ‘These pieces were sharp and biting, making no apologies for being unedited and written on the fly while emotions are still raw.’
    • ‘I saw his anger, his hurt and his pain so bare and so raw.’
    • ‘If passion, poetry and raw emotion are lacking in the current scene, there's something to be said for learning from the masters.’
    strong, intense, passionate, fervent, vehement, powerful, violent, acute
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1Frank and realistic in the depiction of unpleasant situations.
      ‘a raw, uncompromising portrait’
      • ‘The result is raw confrontation, sometimes unpleasant in its intensity.’
      • ‘In contrast, Louis's work had a clear subject, was raw, simple, direct, earnest.’
      • ‘The stories have a raw texture that lays bare the rather bleak emotional life of her repressed, and repressive environment.’
      • ‘Each of the three tracks on the EP convey a sense of raw realism.’
      • ‘It's a wise tactic, and one that helps keep her performances honest, raw and real.’
      • ‘The result the book offers up a very raw portrait of her as she confronts dark family secrets and the postpartum depression of fame.’
      • ‘Some of the poems are pretty raw, but, hopefully they will help others to realise they are not alone.’
      • ‘They're brutal stories, raw, poignant, desperate; we can feel the character's pain, see it in the shades and contours of Miller's skewed and bulbous art.’
      • ‘People might say they are calm but the way we've cut up the landscape here is raw, brutal, hillsides of houses brushing right up against the forest.’
      • ‘This is perhaps what makes his music so raw and honest - the fact that it is a base celebration of everything that's wrong in popular culture today.’
      • ‘Some revel in the appearance of perfection, but he was raw, gritty and damn funny.’
      • ‘They can be raw, honest, even emotional, but not stylish, and never beautiful.’
      • ‘It's a little ironic that the star once known for his raw and uncompromising comedy, has appeared in two PG-rated films this summer.’
      • ‘She felt Adam was getting the raw end of the situation.’
      • ‘Like the label itself, the music is often raw, uncompromising, rebellious, and experimental.’
      • ‘What I found within many of the entries was a totally uncut style of writing - writing which was personal, direct, bold, raw.’
      • ‘I don't think anyone could entirely grasp who I am from watching the show, but what was shown was very raw and honest.’
      • ‘The result is the most raw and real portrayal of how a rock group works and how it sometimes doesn't.’
      • ‘His raw, blunt style appeals to the disaffected, the outcast, the romantic, the loner and the apolitical, and it always will.’
      • ‘Here is something raw, as yet uncompromised, and engaged with some sort of reality.’
      realistic, true to life, unembellished, unvarnished, gritty, naked, bare, brutal, harsh
      View synonyms
    2. 3.2US informal (of language) coarse or crude, typically in relation to sexual matters.
      ‘his wife has led a campaign against raw lyrics in rock music’
      • ‘Her raw lyrics and range of styles are hard-hitting and addictive.’
      • ‘What impact do the raw and explicit lyrics in hip-hop music and provocative images of women in the videos have on our girls?’
      • ‘But aside from the odd moment, the album gets lost amid its pumped-up ethos of hard, hard beats, raw language and stereotypical outlook.’
      • ‘On the contrary, the raw and prolix language of his novels is unabashedly unpoetic and polemical.’
      • ‘Her fans may be shocked by the raw language in the film.’
      • ‘Be warned, that many of these excerpts are raw and crude.’
      • ‘It's got raw music, raw sensitivity, raw vocals, and raw lyrics.’
      • ‘People offended by raw language, and even rougher depictions of street life, should steer clear.’
      • ‘His language is raw and delivery raucous, but his intelligent and insightful material will make you think.’
      • ‘The author masterfully captures the narratives by using humor, raw language and thought-provoking descriptions.’
      • ‘He's learned through experience that his lyrics are too raw for many ears.’
      • ‘The dialogue between the characters, while littered with profanities and raw language, is verbose and prosaic.’
      • ‘It was moving and it was funny, and her language is beautiful and raw and brutal.’
      • ‘The language was on the raw side with the four letter word getting great mileage.’
      unsophisticated, crude, rough, unpolished, unrefined, undeveloped
      View synonyms
  • 4(of the weather) cold and damp; bleak.

    ‘a raw February night’
    • ‘The dreary skies and raw weather suggested November, not mid-May.’
    • ‘A climb out of the woods brought the shock of the raw, cold, outside world, and a bracing but easy track back.’
    • ‘Luckily, while the weather was cold - 30 to 36 degrees - it wasn't a raw cold.’
    • ‘It was raw, damp, dark, and dismal; the clouds were as muddy as the ground; and the short perspective of every street and avenue, was closed up by the mist as by a filthy curtain.’
    • ‘They gathered on a raw February night to learn the secrets of war.’
    • ‘Saturday morning was hideous - the raw wind nearly took you off your feet and the cold rain cut right through my thin jacket.’
    • ‘The cloying heat of the cottage was replaced by the raw coldness of the night.’
    bleak, cold, chilly, chilling, chill, freezing, icy, icy-cold, wintry, bitter, biting, piercing, penetrating, sharp, keen, damp, wet
    View synonyms
  • 5New to an activity or job and therefore lacking experience or skill.

    ‘they were replaced by raw recruits’
    • ‘It populated the battalion partly with soldiers who had gone through basic training elsewhere as tank destroyer crewmen and partly with raw recruits.’
    • ‘His skills are raw, but he progressed enough to start on the right side by the end of his rookie season.’
    • ‘These were exceptions largely brought about by incompetent leadership, raw recruits, a disdain for the enemy, and involving an element of tactical surprise.’
    • ‘Owners with money don't really need to evaluate raw talent, just buy players who are greedy.’
    • ‘They raised a force of 6,000 to join the army - raw recruits, including many London apprentices.’
    • ‘Brigadier Monro's staff of 600 Army personnel and 200 civilians will help to turn raw recruits into trained soldiers.’
    • ‘They had gone from raw recruits to men of honor in a year, and so had he.’
    • ‘Almost half of today's Army is married - some of them raw recruits.’
    • ‘The troops were raw, lacked combat experience, and were inadequately trained’
    • ‘His raw skills and competitiveness make him a terrific prospect, but the learning curve will continue to be steep.’
    • ‘He was a little annoyed by the fact that his team were raw recruits; they jostled each other and joked about in a way that he found most irritating and unprofessional.’
    • ‘These reservists are not raw recruits: they include among their ranks a deputy brigade commander and a fighter pilot.’
    • ‘All I remember is that his skills were very raw, but that he was a very, very strong man who hit hard.’
    • ‘As skilled workers become more scarce, employers must provide more training to promising but raw recruits.’
    • ‘Earlier this week I went to a catering college in West London to meet my latest batch of raw recruits and train them up in just four days to cook in a busy London restaurant.’
    • ‘The modest brick building at the heart of Europe's biggest military base has become refuge to thousands of raw recruits.’
    • ‘The unit has the raw talent and experience to compete with anyone and appears to have the best chemistry of any grouping.’
    • ‘He has good hands, but he is raw, needs experience and must work on his route running.’
    • ‘His skills were raw, and he had difficulty defending the run and getting a push up the middle on passing downs.’
    • ‘We were raw recruits, all looking alike, equally uncomfortable in their new outfits.’
    inexperienced, new, lacking experience, untrained, unskilled, unpractised, untried, untested, unseasoned, untutored, unschooled
    View synonyms
  • 6(of the edge of a piece of cloth) not having a hem or selvedge.

    ‘oversewing is used to neaten raw edges’
    • ‘Simply make the vest in fabric, then again in lining, sandwich the wrong sides together and bind all outer edges to finish the raw edge.’
    • ‘Fold the pressed edge over the opposite raw edge and stitch down the entire length.’
    • ‘Stitch again within the seam allowances, or serge or zigzag the raw edges.’
    • ‘Beginning on the T-shirt neckline wrong side and on the right shoulder seam, place the elastic on the neck opening, aligning the raw edges.’
    • ‘Serge-finish the raw edges and seam with a straight stitch.’
    • ‘For a fine finish on short-haired furs, finish the raw edge with seam binding and secure the hem with double catch-stitching as noted above.’
    • ‘Baste the folded trim strip to the fabric band, matching the long raw edges.’
    • ‘Serge or zigzag the raw edges with matching thread.’
    • ‘With right sides together, place one back panel on an appliquéd front panel, aligning the raw edges on one short end.’
    • ‘The raw edge will be tucked away inside the first fold, unexposed on either the outside or inside, and therefore won't fray.’
    • ‘Showcase a variety of fabrics on the one side, featuring curved piecing and bias bars covering all raw edges.’
    • ‘It has a two-way full-zip front and raw edge stitch styling.’
    • ‘If you have a taste for the couture side of sewing, try a Hong Kong finish on all raw edges.’
    • ‘Make a small diagonal clip through both the hem allowance and facing at the corner where the two raw edges intersect.’
    • ‘Make sure the loop stitching on the underside is covering the hem raw edge.’
    • ‘Work on a protected surface and place a piece of waxed paper over the fabric, exposing just the narrow raw edge.’
    • ‘To machine-stitch a blind hem, fold up the hem, then turn back the garment just below the hem raw edge.’
    • ‘Sew the short ends together to form a circle then fold it in half with wrong sides together so the raw edges meet.’
    • ‘Line up the left edge of the zipper tape with the raw edge of the left seam allowance and pin in place through the seam allowance only.’
    • ‘Wrap the fabric to the seat bottom, tuck under raw edge, and staple every inch or so.’
  • 7South African derogatory From a traditional tribal or rural culture.

    ‘they are mainly raw tribesmen who are intensely conservative’


  • come the raw prawn

    • informal Attempt to deceive.

      ‘don't come the raw prawn with me mate, I can get it at home for that price’
      • ‘The show's writer said, "We found very early on that cheap shots weren't going to cut it. There are no cheap shots". He wouldn't be coming the raw prawn, would he?’
      • ‘He's bunged on the quinella by coming the raw prawn over the workers friends in Canberra.’
      • ‘"You'll always be coming the raw prawn", said Lester to a uniform groan.’
      • ‘Some people would think that is trying to come the raw prawn, but I think there is a sensible argument there.’
      • ‘She has my vote for most improved, coming the raw prawn notwithstanding.’
      • ‘Ed's coming the raw prawn there; he knows full well that publicity people send out "guest lists" all the time.’
      • ‘The Attorney General admits that the government might actually come the raw prawn and say now.’
      • ‘Don't play funny buggers with me, mate. Don't try coming the raw prawn here and now, alright?’
      • ‘He has taken to telling Australians that they need to be 'proper' Australians, and treat women as equals and generally not 'come the raw prawn' with him.’
    • informal

      see raw
  • in the raw

    • 1In its true state; in a starkly realistic way.

      ‘he didn't much care for nature in the raw’
      • ‘Those of us who can't or won't brave nature in the raw should never underestimate the power of the local swimming pool, in providing that vital link with our ancestral past.’
      • ‘Experiencing nature in the raw can gave us all a better sense of perspective.’
      • ‘Like mud, diamonds - which look like dull pebbles in the raw state, and only reveal their beauty when cut and polished - attracted very little attention when first discovered by early man.’
      • ‘He was the sole doctor for several hundred square miles and experienced all forms of medicine in the raw.’
      • ‘I switched off the telly and settled down to what I thought would be half an hour of savage nature in the raw!’
      • ‘It's a moment of open savagery, nature in the raw.’
      • ‘For nature in the raw, push inland to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.’
      • ‘Such wild areas, like the Lake District and the Scottish Highlands, far from being examples of nature in the raw, were the products of a high level of human intervention and invention.’
      • ‘She told us very early on that we were all diamonds in the raw and that we needed refining.’
      • ‘Nothing is staged, nothing is acted, life is shown in the raw, like it really is.’
    • 2Naked.

      ‘I slept in the raw’
  • a raw deal

    • informal A situation in which someone receives unfair or harsh treatment.

      ‘pensioners have had a raw deal’
      • ‘Gloucestershire education chiefs say they have been given another raw deal following the government's latest round of education funding.’
      • ‘Finally, anyone who feels they received a very raw deal by being sold the endowment in the first place may be able to claim compensation.’
      • ‘Counsel for the Member of Parliament yesterday attempted to guillotine the judgement passed on the appellant suggesting that his client had been given a raw deal.’
      • ‘Women academics continue to get a raw deal.’
      • ‘There are a variety of reasons why these farmers and growers feel they are being given a rough deal.’
      • ‘Are we getting a rough deal from our energy providers?’
      • ‘She warns that even if the December text is agreed to, it still offers a raw deal to developing countries, and would result in a ‘host of legal and bureaucratic red tape’.’
  • touch someone on the raw

    • Upset someone by referring to a subject about which they are extremely sensitive.

      ‘you've touched him on the raw—no man likes to have his driving criticized’


Old English hrēaw, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch rauw and German roh, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek kreas raw flesh.