Definition of ragged in English:

ragged

adjective

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

    • ‘He wore a torn shirt, and ragged trousers, which were an olive-green.’
    • ‘The brute wore a white, sleeveless shirt tight against his large muscles and a ragged vest over it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The children he was handing the pesos to were dressed in ragged clothing and dirt covered their hands and faces.’
    • ‘He was clad in a black ragged cloak that hung around his body like a veil of darkness.’
    • ‘A street artist, dressed in a ragged canvas jacket and a simple blue felt hat is drawing on the sidewalk with chalk.’
    • ‘They also removed his clothes changing it with a ragged shirt and leaving his cycling shorts all alone.’
    • ‘They were little boys and little girls that were covered in dirt and mud while their clothes were ragged in that smelly dump.’
    • ‘He was a big man and unlike the villagers his clothes weren't ragged.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The shouts of an old woman dressed in ragged clothes surprised us.’
    • ‘An women in ragged cloths with one dirty infant in her arms approaches my car which stopped at a red light in Shahbag.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His pants were ragged as well, although his clothes were not too big for him.’
    • ‘His pants were also torn and ragged at the bottom and there were various holes and rips in them.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His eye was swollen, his lip bleeding, his hands dirty, his clothes ragged.’
    • ‘He was wearing a long, ragged shirt with a cut in the sleeve and a frayed edge.’
    • ‘He came back hours later clothes ragged, an excited look on his face.’
    • ‘Although the old man and his clothes were spotlessly clean, he wore jeans, a denim shirt and boots that were very worn and ragged.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The ragged boy squeaked and quickly dipped his free hand into his shirt and offered up Tyran's chip pouch.’
      • ‘Cows wander the streets, ragged children pester dogs with sticks, tailors teeter past on bicycles balancing bolts of fabric.’
      • ‘He was a ragged decrepit old man blinking in amazement as a silver ship descends into the valley, landing gently beside the lake.’
      • ‘A group of fierce, ragged men stood at the edge of the field, staring but not moving.’
      • ‘They were a ragged bunch, wearing clothes that looked as if they hadn't seen a good wash in weeks at best.’
      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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Before it could continue a shrill shriek filled the air as a ragged black bird flew in and snatched the Amulet.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2Having an irregular or uneven surface, edge, or outline.

    ‘a ragged coastline’
    • ‘The buildings are made from a sandy beige stone, doorways are partially blocked with sandbags, windows are ragged blackened holes.’
    • ‘However, because of the ragged surface, the meshwork structure can be observed only on the inner shell surface.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The result is a division of the initial planar shape into several pieces with ragged fractal edges.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This gorgeous coastline of ragged bluffs, sea stacks, and mountains could become home.’
    • ‘There are plenty of shocks and jolts in this journey through ragged plains, rugged mountains, murky organisations and lethal hit men.’
    • ‘Such mills have large diameter rolls with surfaces that are roughened or ragged to increase the coefficient of friction.’
    • ‘Its walls were stained, its carpets ragged, but to us it was heaven.’
    • ‘See your doctor when the border or the edge of the mole is not smooth but irregular or ragged.’
    • ‘Paint the wall a bright green, then rip masking tape to create an uneven, ragged edge.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I always hated biting my nails because it caused them to become all ragged.’
    • ‘The edges will look a little ragged, so trim them if you prefer a neat edge.’
    • ‘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’
    • ‘Weather conditions played havoc, producing for the most part rather ragged football.’
    • ‘Robredo's game is getting increasingly ragged and he still appears to be upset by his altercation with the umpire.’
    • ‘Lyon are in control in these early moments, United looking slightly ragged in their pursuit of the ball already.’
    • ‘Subsequent campaigns were ragged and ineffective.’
    • ‘The Cure Hill side relentlessly plundered the runs, aided by some very ragged fielding.’
    • ‘Of course, this isn't a new story - the leading edge of CSS support has always been pretty ragged.’
    • ‘The snap of close on two hundred crossbows firing in a ragged volley was a sound like sharp applause.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Orion kept the pressure on their opponents, whose play was ragged and lacked co-ordination.’
    • ‘From a production standpoint, the album is crisp enough to sustain the songs, yet lacking just enough fidelity to complement his ragged delivery.’
    • ‘From the wonky lines and ragged colouring, the artists involved can't be much older than 10.’
    • ‘When the team embarked on a trek through Texas, parts of its game were rough and ragged.’
    • ‘Arsenal, who are looking increasingly ragged, win a free-kick just outside the box.’
    • ‘If you watch warm-ups at the typical age group meet, you'll see much more ragged than smooth movement.’
    • ‘He started to run again: not a smooth sprint but a ragged lope that screamed exhaustion.’
    • ‘Lines were ragged, several dancers shuffled into place and many seemed unsure of cues.’
    • ‘Plantations without adequate weed control may look ragged and ill kept.’
    • ‘Ness sounds as hushed, gravelly, and desperate as always, singing over that ragged guitar twang.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘My voice sounded ragged, not my own, and I realized I hadn't used it on over a week.’
      • ‘Expelling a ragged sigh, Sahara wandered over to the sound system and put in a CD.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The room stilled, broken only by the sound of Kristyn's ragged sobs.’
      • ‘The ragged sound of tapping valves beneath the dusty hoods of several trucks fills the air, which smells strongly of diesel fuel.’
      • ‘"Twenty in all, " her brother answered, his voice ragged.’
      • ‘Blanche gasped, a ragged sound, her fair, trembling hand jumping to cover her mouth.’
      • ‘Sweat trickled over my clammy skin as ragged gasps echoed over the still silence of dark.’
      • ‘Her breath sounded ragged in her ears and her chest was tight.’
      • ‘Anna's breath came in ragged gasps as she flew with all her might to Justin's house.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Not only that, but her voice - a bit raspy at the best of times - sounds downright ragged and weary here.’
      • ‘His laugh turned into a ragged, tearing coughing.’
      • ‘They carried Kharasil up the corridors in a wave of nervous chatter, the ragged sound of a giggle falling obscenely in the narrow space.’
      • ‘"I'm sorry, " she said, her voice ragged and husky from weeping.’
      • ‘She looked down at Spitz whose respiration was so ragged that she sounded like she was suffocating slowly.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But I can see her chest rising and falling, and I can hear how ragged her breathing is.’
  • 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?’
    • ‘Looking at the team she realized just how ragged and exhausted everyone was.’
    • ‘I could say that the effect of the dream was to leave me feeling limp and ragged all day since.’
    • ‘He looked much more ragged and tired than when he had stabbed her.’
    • ‘The three children's playtime was interrupted as an exhausted and ragged looking lady barged out from the bushes.’

Phrases

  • run someone ragged

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

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There were certain areas where we had youths in gangs of 20 or 25 causing serious problems for residents and running us ragged.’
      • ‘Those kids must really be running you ragged; you look terrible.’
      • ‘Using every square yard of the pitch, those high-powered Adare forwards ran Croom ragged, pulled them wide then exploited the spaces in between.’
      • ‘Didn't you run her ragged emotionally, make her a basket case?’
      • ‘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!‘’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘O'Driscoll was continuing to run Listowel ragged and the inevitable happened in the 26th minute when Camp scored again.’
      • ‘North Carolina will win nearly every time, but Princeton will run them ragged with their disciplined execution of plays.’
      • ‘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

/ˈræɡəd//ˈraɡəd/