Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English ragged, from North Germanic. Compare with Old Norse rǫgvaðr (tufted) and Norwegian ragget (shaggy).


  • enPR: răg'ĭd, IPA(key): /ˈɹæɡɪd/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æɡɪd


ragged (comparative more ragged, superlative most ragged)

  1. In tatters, having the texture broken.
    a ragged coat
    a ragged sail
  2. Having rough edges; jagged or uneven
    ragged rocks
  3. Harsh-sounding; having an unpleasant noise
    • 1912, David Herbert Lawrence, The Trespasser, Chapter 12
      There was a ragged noise of bleating from the flock penned in a corner of the yard. Two red-armed men seized a sheep, hauled it to a large bath that stood in the middle of the yard, and there held it, more or less in the bath, whilst a third man baled a dirty yellow liquid over its body.
  4. Wearing tattered clothes.
    • 1956 [1880], Johanna Spyri, Heidi, translation of original by Eileen Hall, page 84:
      She ran to the door and there beheld the ragged street urchin calmly playing his organ.
    a ragged fellow
  5. Rough; shaggy; rugged.
    • 1969, Paul Simon, Simon & Garfunkel, “The Boxer”, Bridge over Troubled Water, Columbia Records:
      Seeking out the poorer quarters
      Where the ragged people go
  6. Faulty; lacking in skill, reliability, or organization.
    • 2010, Dall Wilson, Alice Nielsen and the Gayety of Nations, →ISBN, page 318:
      Now I realize how ridiculous and almost impertinent it was to expect New Yorkers to accept such a ragged performance for they have always demanded the best and do not tolerate the second-rate."
    • 2012 May 19, Paul Fletcher, “Blackpool 1-2 West Ham”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      Allardyce's side had led at the break through a Carlton Cole strike but after Thomas Ince - son of former Hammers midfielder Paul - levelled shortly after the restart, the match became increasingly stretched and ragged.
    • 2013, William J. Taylor, Eric T. Olson, & Richard A. Schrader, Defense Manpower Planning: Issues for the 1980s, →ISBN, page 219:
      Despite the apparent general viability of the AVF its ragged performance serves to motivate serious questions concerning its future viability, the quality of the defense that we are buying, and the AVF's effect on our nation and society.
  7. (music) performed in a syncopated manner, especially in ragtime.
  8. (computing) Of a data structure: having uneven levels.
    a ragged hierarchy
    a ragged array, consisting of a number of arrays of varying size
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From rag.




  1. simple past tense and past participle of rag


Middle EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit


From Old Norse raggaðr; equivalent to and reinforced by ragge +‎ -ed.




  1. ragged, raggy, raglike
  2. shaggy, furry
  3. rough, jagged, spiked


  • English: ragged
  • Scots: raggit