1 a a torn, frayed, or worn piece of woven material. b one of the irregular scraps to which cloth etc. is reduced by wear and tear.
2 (in pl.) old or worn clothes.
3 (collect.) scraps of cloth used as material for paper, stuffing, etc.
4 derog. a a newspaper. b a flag, handkerchief, curtain, etc.
5 (usu. with neg.) the smallest scrap of cloth etc. (not a rag to cover him).
6 an odd scrap; an irregular piece.
7 a jagged projection, esp. on metal.
Phrases and idioms:
in rags
1 much torn.
2 in old torn clothes. rag-and-bone man Brit. an itinerant dealer in old clothes, furniture, etc.
1 a bag in which scraps of fabric etc. are kept for use.
2 a miscellaneous collection.
3 sl. a sloppily-dressed woman. rag bolt a bolt with barbs to keep it tight when it has been driven in. rag book a children's book made of untearable cloth. rag doll a stuffed doll made of cloth. rag paper paper made from rags. rag-picker a collector and seller of rags. rags to riches poverty to affluence. rag trade colloq. the business of designing, making, and selling women's clothes.
Etymology: ME, prob. back-form. f. RAGGED
n. & v. sl.
—n. Brit.
1 a fund-raising programme of stunts, parades, and entertainment organized by students.
2 colloq. a prank.
3 a a rowdy celebration. b a noisy disorderly scene.
—v. (ragged, ragging)
1 tr. tease; torment; play rough jokes on.
2 tr. scold; reprove severely.
3 intr. Brit. engage in rough play; be noisy and riotous.
Etymology: 18th c.: orig. unkn.: cf. BALLYRAG
1 a large coarse roofing-slate.
2 any of various kinds of hard coarse sedimentary stone that break into thick slabs.
Etymology: ME: orig. unkn., but assoc. with RAG(1)
n. Mus. a ragtime composition or tune.
Etymology: perh. f. RAGGED: see RAGTIME

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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