Definition of tatterdemalion in English:



  • Tattered or dilapidated.

    • ‘In the haphazard tatterdemalion surroundings of sheds and abandoned industrial buildings, the new centre stands out as an organized oasis.’
    • ‘The Web sites supporting ‘The Living Wage Movement’ have a tatterdemalion, homemade feel to them.’
    • ‘And a circus happens where and whenever some tatterdemalion body discards itself in leaps and somersaults.’
    • ‘They began with a tatterdemalion parade of musicians and baton twirlers down the aisle and onto the stage.’
    • ‘Al's tatterdemalion figure was washed out in a psychedelic rainbow as Sam Beckett leaped again.’


  • A person in tattered clothing.

    • ‘In a free society, why should anyone stand in the way of another person's transformation from tatterdemalion to goddess?’
    mischievous child, imp, monkey, puck, rascal, rogue, minx, mischief-maker, prankster, tearaway
    View synonyms


Early 17th century: from tatters or tattered: ending unexplained.