Definition of ragged in English:

ragged

adjective

  • 1(of cloth or clothes) old and torn.

    • ‘An women in ragged cloths with one dirty infant in her arms approaches my car which stopped at a red light in Shahbag.’
    • ‘He was a big man and unlike the villagers his clothes weren't ragged.’
    • ‘His pants were ragged as well, although his clothes were not too big for him.’
    • ‘He was wearing a long, ragged shirt with a cut in the sleeve and a frayed edge.’
    • ‘They also removed his clothes changing it with a ragged shirt and leaving his cycling shorts all alone.’
    • ‘All she wore was a ragged shirt that was torn at the sleeves and the abdomen, exposing a strip of pale skin around her slender waist.’
    • ‘They were little boys and little girls that were covered in dirt and mud while their clothes were ragged in that smelly dump.’
    • ‘He came back hours later clothes ragged, an excited look on his face.’
    • ‘He wore ragged trousers and a grubby torn shirt that was far too big for him and looked as though it was a type of tent.’
    • ‘His pants were also torn and ragged at the bottom and there were various holes and rips in them.’
    • ‘He was clad in a black ragged cloak that hung around his body like a veil of darkness.’
    • ‘He wore a torn shirt, and ragged trousers, which were an olive-green.’
    • ‘His eye was swollen, his lip bleeding, his hands dirty, his clothes ragged.’
    • ‘The children he was handing the pesos to were dressed in ragged clothing and dirt covered their hands and faces.’
    • ‘There'd been an old drifter who'd stopped by for lodgings with his ragged hat and scarf, everything he owned in a beat-up pack.’
    • ‘Although the old man and his clothes were spotlessly clean, he wore jeans, a denim shirt and boots that were very worn and ragged.’
    • ‘I carried her with me and placed her on the ladder and she scrambled up, her little, ragged dress catching momentarily on the nails of the rafters.’
    • ‘The shouts of an old woman dressed in ragged clothes surprised us.’
    • ‘A street artist, dressed in a ragged canvas jacket and a simple blue felt hat is drawing on the sidewalk with chalk.’
    • ‘The brute wore a white, sleeveless shirt tight against his large muscles and a ragged vest over it.’
    tattered, in tatters, torn, ripped, split, in holes, holey, moth-eaten, frayed, worn, worn out, well worn, worn to shreds, falling to pieces, threadbare, the worse for wear, patched, scruffy, shabby, decrepit, old
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    1. 1.1 (of a person) wearing old and torn clothes; unkempt.
      ‘a ragged child’
      • ‘He was a ragged decrepit old man blinking in amazement as a silver ship descends into the valley, landing gently beside the lake.’
      • ‘Beside me in the line were ragged mothers with their children in their arms, and at their feet, old infirm men, and young men who are in destitute circumstances.’
      • ‘Cows wander the streets, ragged children pester dogs with sticks, tailors teeter past on bicycles balancing bolts of fabric.’
      • ‘They were a ragged bunch, wearing clothes that looked as if they hadn't seen a good wash in weeks at best.’
      • ‘A group of fierce, ragged men stood at the edge of the field, staring but not moving.’
      • ‘The ragged boy squeaked and quickly dipped his free hand into his shirt and offered up Tyran's chip pouch.’
      dressed in rags, shabby, unkempt
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    2. 1.2 (of an animal) having a rough, shaggy coat.
      ‘a pair of ragged ponies’
      • ‘His imagination was fevered, he thought of himself as a knight from a bygone era and moved around like one, riding a ragged horse.’
      • ‘A ragged pigeon with one scabby leg is slouching wearily on my window-sill.’
      • ‘Just then, a ragged Great-tailed Grackle flew into some nearby scrub.’
      • ‘Before it could continue a shrill shriek filled the air as a ragged black bird flew in and snatched the Amulet.’
      • ‘Her shaggy, ragged coat, thick with its winter growth, was still not enough to keep out the biting cold that had come with last night's ice storm.’
  • 2Having an irregular or uneven surface, edge, or outline.

    ‘a ragged coastline’
    • ‘See your doctor when the border or the edge of the mole is not smooth but irregular or ragged.’
    • ‘There are plenty of shocks and jolts in this journey through ragged plains, rugged mountains, murky organisations and lethal hit men.’
    • ‘The war had begun six months earlier, and by now the fighting had narrowed down to the ragged eastern edge of the country.’
    • ‘In addition, the cuticle of the fingernails often gets very ragged, overgrown, and irregular.’
    • ‘The result is a division of the initial planar shape into several pieces with ragged fractal edges.’
    • ‘Paint the wall a bright green, then rip masking tape to create an uneven, ragged edge.’
    • ‘I always hated biting my nails because it caused them to become all ragged.’
    • ‘The coastline of Galicia has a ragged quality to it that takes the form of many bays and inlets which are known locally as rias.’
    • ‘Such mills have large diameter rolls with surfaces that are roughened or ragged to increase the coefficient of friction.’
    • ‘Along with illuminating the critters, they make it easer to see the edge of ragged Colorado roads, and can be handy for setting up camp.’
    • ‘However, because of the ragged surface, the meshwork structure can be observed only on the inner shell surface.’
    • ‘The buildings are made from a sandy beige stone, doorways are partially blocked with sandbags, windows are ragged blackened holes.’
    • ‘An iceberg smashes its way to the surface, all sharp angles and ragged edges, rearing over the barely visible remains of a crushed and sinking ship.’
    • ‘Its walls were stained, its carpets ragged, but to us it was heaven.’
    • ‘This gorgeous coastline of ragged bluffs, sea stacks, and mountains could become home.’
    • ‘The edges will look a little ragged, so trim them if you prefer a neat edge.’
    • ‘It is wreathed in ragged cloud and rivers pour off its edges to fray 350 metres down towards the desert floor.’
    • ‘A single very small spherical shell is characterized by a lumpy to ragged surface and numerous short spines.’
    • ‘Anyone wanting an overview of the area should take the road that winds up to the top of Monte Mora, highest of the granite peaks that dominate the rugged, ragged coast.’
    • ‘The detonations collapsed the three-storey house in on itself, leaving a ragged hole in the street's facade, as though a tooth had been torn from a smile.’
    jagged, craggy, rugged, uneven, rough, irregular, broken
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    1. 2.1Printing (especially of a right margin) uneven because the lines are unjustified.
  • 3Lacking finish, smoothness, or uniformity.

    ‘the ragged discipline of the players’
    • ‘Lines were ragged, several dancers shuffled into place and many seemed unsure of cues.’
    • ‘Regrettably, uneven casting and some ragged ensemble from both singers and orchestra left the impression that they had bitten off more than they could chew.’
    • ‘Ness sounds as hushed, gravelly, and desperate as always, singing over that ragged guitar twang.’
    • ‘The snap of close on two hundred crossbows firing in a ragged volley was a sound like sharp applause.’
    • ‘Weather conditions played havoc, producing for the most part rather ragged football.’
    • ‘Arsenal, who are looking increasingly ragged, win a free-kick just outside the box.’
    • ‘Subsequent campaigns were ragged and ineffective.’
    • ‘He started to run again: not a smooth sprint but a ragged lope that screamed exhaustion.’
    • ‘Of course, this isn't a new story - the leading edge of CSS support has always been pretty ragged.’
    • ‘When the team embarked on a trek through Texas, parts of its game were rough and ragged.’
    • ‘Plantations without adequate weed control may look ragged and ill kept.’
    • ‘The Cure Hill side relentlessly plundered the runs, aided by some very ragged fielding.’
    • ‘His command of six strings incorporates a hair-raising degree of proficiency and versatility from tingling jangles to hypnotic jigs and ragged fragments of blues.’
    • ‘From the wonky lines and ragged colouring, the artists involved can't be much older than 10.’
    • ‘From a production standpoint, the album is crisp enough to sustain the songs, yet lacking just enough fidelity to complement his ragged delivery.’
    • ‘Robredo's game is getting increasingly ragged and he still appears to be upset by his altercation with the umpire.’
    • ‘Hawick were also made to pay for some ragged discipline on 20 minutes when their captain Roddy Deans was sin-binned for a late tackle.’
    • ‘Lyon are in control in these early moments, United looking slightly ragged in their pursuit of the ball already.’
    • ‘If you watch warm-ups at the typical age group meet, you'll see much more ragged than smooth movement.’
    • ‘Orion kept the pressure on their opponents, whose play was ragged and lacked co-ordination.’
    disorganized, in disarray, confused, in confusion, disordered, disorderly
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    1. 3.1 (of a sound) rough or uneven.
      ‘he could hear her ragged breathing’
      • ‘Blanche gasped, a ragged sound, her fair, trembling hand jumping to cover her mouth.’
      • ‘She looked down at Spitz whose respiration was so ragged that she sounded like she was suffocating slowly.’
      • ‘Sweat trickled over my clammy skin as ragged gasps echoed over the still silence of dark.’
      • ‘The ragged sound of tapping valves beneath the dusty hoods of several trucks fills the air, which smells strongly of diesel fuel.’
      • ‘Her breath sounded ragged in her ears and her chest was tight.’
      • ‘"I'm sorry, " she said, her voice ragged and husky from weeping.’
      • ‘Expelling a ragged sigh, Sahara wandered over to the sound system and put in a CD.’
      • ‘The room stilled, broken only by the sound of Kristyn's ragged sobs.’
      • ‘The raw emotion in his voice, tearing it and making it ragged, had been real when we talked that night at the top of the tower.’
      • ‘My voice sounded ragged, not my own, and I realized I hadn't used it on over a week.’
      • ‘Not only that, but her voice - a bit raspy at the best of times - sounds downright ragged and weary here.’
      • ‘They carried Kharasil up the corridors in a wave of nervous chatter, the ragged sound of a giggle falling obscenely in the narrow space.’
      • ‘"Twenty in all, " her brother answered, his voice ragged.’
      • ‘Anna's breath came in ragged gasps as she flew with all her might to Justin's house.’
      • ‘But I can see her chest rising and falling, and I can hear how ragged her breathing is.’
      • ‘After a moment, the sound of ragged breath reached his ears, was she crying?’
      • ‘The sound of ragged, empty breathing passed by her door and Chandra sleepily threw back her covers and clambered out of bed.’
      • ‘His laugh turned into a ragged, tearing coughing.’
      • ‘I rest my hot cheek against the car window and cry, hating both myself and the ragged sobs that split the silence in the Jetta like a knife.’
      • ‘In the distance now they could hear the sounds of many more men shouting, a ragged chorus that rose over the clatter of steel against steel.’
  • 4Suffering from exhaustion or stress.

    ‘he looked a little ragged, a little shadowy beneath the eyes’
    • ‘I was surprised she hadn't hospitalized my brothers; they both looked ragged and haunted and exhausted.’
    • ‘What better strategy than to stay above the fray, while a bunch of ragged and raw aspirants squabble into a loss in November 2008?’
    • ‘The three children's playtime was interrupted as an exhausted and ragged looking lady barged out from the bushes.’
    • ‘Looking at the team she realized just how ragged and exhausted everyone was.’
    • ‘He looked much more ragged and tired than when he had stabbed her.’
    • ‘I could say that the effect of the dream was to leave me feeling limp and ragged all day since.’

Phrases

  • run someone ragged

    • Exhaust someone by making them undertake a lot of physical activity.

      • ‘O'Driscoll was continuing to run Listowel ragged and the inevitable happened in the 26th minute when Camp scored again.’
      • ‘He ran me ragged, back and forth across fields, up and down hills, and I realised through all the pain that I was finally becoming fit.’
      • ‘Didn't you run her ragged emotionally, make her a basket case?’
      • ‘Using every square yard of the pitch, those high-powered Adare forwards ran Croom ragged, pulled them wide then exploited the spaces in between.’
      • ‘North Carolina will win nearly every time, but Princeton will run them ragged with their disciplined execution of plays.’
      • ‘As he hung up the phone, he turned to us with a wicked gleam in his eye, ‘You can't let these court clerks run you ragged!‘’
      • ‘Those kids must really be running you ragged; you look terrible.’
      • ‘There were certain areas where we had youths in gangs of 20 or 25 causing serious problems for residents and running us ragged.’
      • ‘Despite admitting that he was run ragged by playing basketball with the kids, he said he was considering making it an annual event for the future.’
      • ‘My wife Mary and I were about 20 years younger than Phyllis, but she ran us ragged on our visits to California or hers to New York.’
      tire out, wear out, overtire, overtax, fatigue, weary, tire, drain, run someone into the ground, run someone ragged, enervate, sap, debilitate, prostrate, enfeeble
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Origin

Middle English: of Scandinavian origin; compare with Old Norse rǫgvathr ‘tufted’ and Norwegian ragget ‘shaggy’.

Pronunciation

ragged

/ˈraɡəd//ˈræɡəd/