• A barefoot boy wearing ragged clothes
    A barefoot boy wearing ragged clothes
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v rag break into lumps before sorting "rag ore"
    • v rag censure severely or angrily "The mother scolded the child for entering a stranger's car","The deputy ragged the Prime Minister","The customer dressed down the waiter for bringing cold soup"
    • v rag harass with persistent criticism or carping "The children teased the new teacher","Don't ride me so hard over my failure","His fellow workers razzed him when he wore a jacket and tie"
    • v rag play in ragtime "rag that old tune"
    • v rag cause annoyance in; disturb, especially by minor irritations "Mosquitoes buzzing in my ear really bothers me","It irritates me that she never closes the door after she leaves"
    • v rag treat cruelly "The children tormented the stuttering teacher"
    • n rag a boisterous practical joke (especially by college students)
    • n rag a small piece of cloth or paper
    • n rag newspaper with half-size pages
    • n rag music with a syncopated melody (usually for the piano)
    • n rag a week at British universities during which side-shows and processions of floats are organized to raise money for charities
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The little chimney sweep, with his ragged clothes and brush The little chimney sweep, with his ragged clothes and brush
Cinderella's rags turned into the most beautiful dress in the world Cinderella's rags turned into the most beautiful dress in the world
Jo laid her head on a comfortable rag-bag and cried Jo laid her head on a comfortable rag-bag and cried

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Rag (Geol) A coarse kind of rock, somewhat cellular in texture.
    • Rag A piece of cloth torn off; a tattered piece of cloth; a shred; a tatter; a fragment. "Cowls, hoods, and habits, with their wearers, tossed,
      And fluttered into rags ."
      "Not having otherwise any rag of legality to cover the shame of their cruelty."
    • Rag (Metal Working) A ragged edge.
    • Rag A sail, or any piece of canvas. "Our ship was a clipper with every rag set."
    • Rag A shabby, beggarly fellow; a ragamuffin. "The other zealous rag is the compositor.""Upon the proclamation, they all came in, both tag and rag ."
    • Rag Hence, mean or tattered attire; worn-out dress. "And virtue, though in rags , will keep me warm."
    • v. i Rag răg To become tattered.
    • Rag To break (ore) into lumps for sorting.
    • Rag To cut or dress roughly, as a grindstone.
    • Rag To dance to ragtime music, esp. in some manner considered indecorous.
    • Rag (Music) To play or compose (a piece, melody, etc.) in syncopated time.
    • v. t Rag răg To scold or rail at; to rate; to tease; to torment; to banter.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n rag A sharp or jagged fragment rising from a surface or edge: as, a rag on a metal plate; hence, a jagged face of rock; a rocky headland; a cliff; a crag.
    • n rag A rock having or weathering with a rough irregular surface.
    • n rag In botany:
    • n rag A lichen, Sticta pulmonaria (see hazel-crottles).
    • n rag Another lichen, Parmelia saxatilis (stone-rag).
    • n rag A catkin of the hazel, or of the willow, Salix caprea. Also raw.
    • n rag A torn, worn, or formless fragment or shred of cloth; a comparatively worthless piece of any textile fabric, either wholly or partly detached from its connection by violence or abrasion: as, his coat was in rags; cotton and linen rags are used to make paper, and woolen rags to make shoddy.
    • n rag A worn, torn, or mean garment; in the plural, shabby or worn-out clothes, showing rents and patches.
    • n rag Any separate fragment or shred of cloth, or of something like or likened to it: often applied disparagingly or playfully to a handkerchief, a flag or banner, a sail, the curtain of a theater, a newspaper, etc.
    • n rag Figuratively, a severed fragment; a remnant; a scrap; a bit.
    • n rag A base, beggarly person; a ragamuffin; a tatterdemalion.
    • n rag A farthing.
    • n rag A herd of colts.
    • n rag In type-founding, the bur or rough edge left on imperfectly finished type.
    • rag Made of or with rags; formed from or consisting of refuse pieces or fragments of cloth: as, rag pulp for paper-making; a rag carpet.
    • rag In U. S. political slang, the paper currency of the government; greenback money: so called with reference to the contention of the Greenback party, before and after the resumption of specie payments in 1879, in favor of making such money a full legal tender for the national debt and all other purposes.
    • rag To become ragged; fray: with out.
    • rag To dress; deck one's self: in the phrase to rag out, to dress in one's best.
    • rag To make ragged; abrade; give a ragged appearance to, as in the rough-dressing of the face of a grindstone.
    • rag In mining, to separate by ragging or with the aid of the ragging-hammer. See ragging, 2.
    • rag To banter; badger; rail at; irritate; torment. Compare bullyrag.
    • n rag A drizzling rain.
    • n rag An abbreviation of raginee.
    • n rag In botany: The pithy axis and the membranes separating the sections of the orange and other citrus fruits.
    • n rag A coat; a tunic: army slang in India in the last century; still used. Also raggie (which see).
    • n rag In Oxford University, a noisy, disorderly outbreak, in violation of established regulations: originally peculiar to English university life.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Rag rag a fragment of cloth: a rock having a rough irregular surface: a remnant, scrap: a beggarly person: anything rent or worn out
    • adj Rag made of rags
    • v.t Rag to make ragged
    • v.i Rag to become ragged, to fray:
    • v.t Rag rag to banter, torment
    • Rag Also n.
    • v.i Rag (U.S. slang) to dress (out)
    • ***


  • William Shakespeare
    “Oh! it offends me to the soul to hear a robust periwig-pated fellow, tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings.”
  • Walt Whitman
    “The great city is that which has the greatest man or woman: if it be a few ragged huts, it is still the greatest city in the whole world.”
  • Johann Kaspar Lavater
    “The craftiest trickery are too short and ragged a cloak to cover a bad heart.”
  • William R. Alger
    William R. Alger
    “The line of life is a ragged diagonal between duty and desire.”
  • John Donne
    “Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime, nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.”
  • George Farquhar
    “There's no scandal like rags, nor any crime so shameful as poverty.”


From rags to riches - Someone who starts life very poor and makes a fortune goes from rags to riches.
Lose your rag - Is someone loses their rag, they are very angry about something.
Ragged blue line - (USA) This term was used to signify the Union forces (who wore blue uniforms) in the American Civil war .
Rags to riches - Someone who starts life very poor and becomes rich goes from rags to riches.
Red rag to a bull - If something is a red rag to a bull, it is something that will inevitably make somebody angry or cross.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. Icel. rægja, to calumniate, OHG. ruogen, to accuse, G. rügen, to censure, AS. wrēgan, Goth. wrōhjan, to accuse


In literature:

She had clambered to her feet, ridiculously tangled in the rags of her dress.
"Tess of the Storm Country" by Grace Miller White
Oh, how brown you are, and your uniform's so ragged!
"The Long Roll" by Mary Johnston
They were very carelessly kept, there being apparently only a ragged boy or two to look after them.
"Across Coveted Lands" by Arnold Henry Savage Landor
Women, ragged, with more ragged children clinging to their skirts, came from the fisher-huts upon the beach to gaze across the marsh.
"Nicanor - Teller of Tales" by C. Bryson Taylor
His breath was coming raggedly.
"Oh, You Tex!" by William Macleod Raine
Around the valley stood ragged hills, their white tops laying out streamers of wind-driven snow, and the sky was dark with sunset.
"Space Prison" by Tom Godwin
Across its entire bulk at this place the cliff had once been cracked, and a "slip" had formed a ragged shelf.
"As It Was in the Beginning" by Philip Verrill Mighels
Eight men, all in rags with one exception, were sitting and lying about.
"The False Chevalier" by William Douw Lighthall
He became dirty and ragged.
"Winning His Way" by Charles Carleton Coffin
In cases of recent development the walls of the abscesses are fringed and ragged and have no lining membrane.
"Special Report on Diseases of the Horse" by United States Department of Agriculture

In poetry:

The sky was dark with threat'ning clouds,
And fiercely on the raging sea,
The roaring tempest wilder swept,
And fiercer rag'd old Galilee.
"The Tempest Stilled" by Thomas Frederick Young
"A ghostly ship, with a ghostly crew,
In tempests she appears;
And before the gale, or against the gale,
She sails without a rag of sail,
Without a helmsman steers.
"Tales Of A Wayside Inn : Part 2. The Musician's Tale; The Ballad of Carmilhan - II." by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Second one — he liked the wind from South,
Every noise for him was strings' accord,
He believed that life is just his spouse,
And the rag under his feet — the world.
"Only Serpents" by Nikolai Stepanovich Gumilev
I saw the fading phantoms glare;
Their tones to silence hissed.
The walls bulged, brightening everywhere,
And thinned and melted in the air
To ragged streams of rosy mist.
"The Faun" by John Le Gay Brereton
All the watchers of the coast
Flocked to view the sight,
Men and women streaming down
Through the summer night,
Found her standing tall and ragged
Beached in the moonlight.
"The "Alice Jean"" by Robert Graves
Manna shall, there, for a few crumbs be had,
And, for plain water, floods of joy be given!
Each Christian, there, by Jesus shall be clad,
For some few rags, in the gay robes of heaven.
"Advice To Distribute To The Poor, According To Every One's Circumstances And Abilities" by Rees Prichard

In news:

Ragged remains of Isaac are back over the Gulf of Mexico.
Jonathan Boulet, 'This Song Is Called Ragged (Jonti Remix)'.
Rockies' ragged in loss to Detroit Tigers.
Johnny Cash in 1990 reciting, "The Ragged Old Flag".
The Ragged Edge of the World.
Germantown ragged but still downs Tosa East.
A recent Thursday afternoon was an opportunity to check out the colors on display at the Ragged Mountain Natural Area.
Neil Young and Crazy Horse, ' Ragged Glory'.
2, 2011: Riding the ragged edge of disaster a thousand times.
UNLV run ragged by Fredette, BYU in conference opener, 89-77.
Vonn's Ragged , Aggressive Run.
Spirited Away Once self-released blog-buzz darlings, the ragged , folky rockers of Delta Spirit are now the youngest retro-sounding act on Rounder Records.
Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff Ragged But Right.
Her art, photos capturing the beauty in ragged form, is on display at her first-ever solo exhibit at the Livewire.
1 RAGGED RIDGE ROAD By Leonard Foglia and David Richards.

In science:

The ragged structure signifies that there are systematic variations of nuclear stability with nucleon number, some nucleonic numbers allowing for a greater variety of stable configurations of higher binding energy.
Introduction to Astronomy with Radioactivity
In what follow W RAG(m, n) will be Wheel Random Apollonian Graph where m, n ∈ N where m ≥ 4, n > m. V will indicate the set of vertices, E the set of edges of the W RAG(m, n).
Wheel Random Apollonian Graphs
The starting point of a W RAG(Wm (v0 ) is a wheel graph that has m vertices at every step we add to the set of vertex V a new vertex till the n − m final step so we totally have m + (n − m) = n vertices.
Wheel Random Apollonian Graphs
Theorem 12 Let W RAG(m, n) a Wheel Random Apol lonian Graph of order n with seed m, then W RAG(m, n) is Hamiltonian.
Wheel Random Apollonian Graphs
So by consequence choosing i = n − m then W RAG(m, n) is Hamiltonian.
Wheel Random Apollonian Graphs