Meaning of RAG in English


I. ˈrag, ˈraa(ə)g, ˈraig noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English ragge, from (assumed) Old English ragg (whence Old English raggig raggy), from Old Norse rögg tuft, shagginess — more at rug


a. : a waste piece of cloth torn or cut off (as from a fabric or garment) : tatter

b. rags plural : remnants of used or unused cloth and discarded clothing

c. rags plural : clothes

sumptuous rags … cover her emaciated body — Otis Fellows

his neat black suit … among the colored rags of the other passengers — Dan Jacobson

especially : poor or ragged clothing — often used in the phrase in rags

accosted by a beggar in rags

d. : a small cloth ; especially : one devoted to a particular use — usually used in combination

wash rag

dish rag


a. : an unevenly shaped or torn fragment : shred

rags of meat

a rag of cloud

rags of land

rags of bark

b. : scrap , remnant

still clinging … to some rag of honor — R.L.Stevenson

tearing their arguments to rags

not a rag of legality

not a rag of evidence against him

3. : something resembling a rag in appearance: as

a. : sail

a clipper with every rag set — J.R.Lowell

b. : the stringy axis of and the white fibrous membrane investing the pulp and sectional divisions of a citrus fruit

c. : something without strength or stamina

kept … on the jump and left her a rag — W.D.Steele

4. : something resembling a rag in low worth or repute: as

a. : a person held in low esteem

washed-out rag he'd been dragging to dances — Martin Dibner

b. : depreciated paper money

c. : a low or worthless playing card


a. : a ragged edge ; specifically : one left by a cutting tool in metalworking

b. : a fin or burr on cast metal

6. : newspaper , periodical

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: origin unknown

1. : any of various hard rocks (as a quartzose mica schist used for whetstones or a hard limestone used in building)

coral rag

walls of yellowish, gravelly rag — F.D.Ommanney

2. : a large roofing slate left rough on one side

III. verb

( ragged -gd ; ragged ; ragging ; rags )

Etymology: origin unknown

transitive verb

1. : to rail at : scold

ragging the government — J.A.Michener

ragging a waiter because the toast was cold — Leonard Merrick


a. : to persecute in petty ways : torment , annoy

gave my form a punishment for ragging him — R.G.G.Price

b. : to make fun of or find fault with good-naturedly : tease , chaff

ragged each other about that all day long — F.M.Ford

intransitive verb

chiefly Britain : to engage in horseplay (as in a school dormitory)

rag in the corridors at night — Cyril Connolly

IV. noun

( -s )

1. chiefly Britain

a. : an outbreak of boisterous and usually mischievous merrymaking (as of students in the streets after a football match) : a student riot

b. : a traditional student revel at British universities marked by playful disorder, comic pageantry, and mockery of the authorities

2. chiefly Britain : prank , hoax

rags and japes — Thomas Wood †1950

quite serious … no rag — E.F.Benson

V. transitive verb

( ragged ; ragged ; ragging ; rags )

Etymology: origin unknown

1. : to break (ore) into lumps for sorting

2. : to cut or dress roughly (as a grindstone)

VI. noun

( -s )

Etymology: by shortening

1. : ragtime

2. : a dance in ragtime

VII. verb

( ragged ; ragged ; ragging ; rags )

transitive verb

: to play (a musical composition) in ragtime

intransitive verb

: to dance to ragtime music

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.