- to scold.
- to subject to a teasing, especially in an intense or prolonged way (often followed by on): Some of the boys were ragging on him about his haircut.
- British. to torment with jokes; play crude practical jokes on.
- British. an act of ragging.
Origin of rag2
- a small piece of cloth, such as one torn from a discarded garment, or such pieces of cloth collectively
- (as modifier)a rag doll; a rag book; rag paper
- a fragmentary piece of any material; scrap; shred
- informal a newspaper or other journal, esp one considered as worthless, sensational, etc
- informal an item of clothing
- informal a handkerchief
- British slang esp nautical a flag or ensign
- lose one's rag to lose one's temper suddenly
- to draw attention facetiously and persistently to the shortcomings or alleged shortcomings of (a person)
- British to play rough practical jokes on
- British a boisterous practical joke, esp one on a fellow student
- (in British universities)
- a period, usually a week, in which various events are organized to raise money for charity, including a procession of decorated floats and tableaux
- (as modifier)rag day
- a piece of ragtime music
- (tr) to compose or perform in ragtime
- a roofing slate that is rough on one side
Word Origin and History for rag on
scrap of cloth, early 14c., probably from Old Norse rögg "shaggy tuft," earlier raggw-, or possibly from Old Danish rag (see rug), or a back-formation from ragged, It also may represent an unrecorded Old English cognate of Old Norse rögg. Watkins traces the Old Norse word through Proto-Germanic *rawwa-, from PIE root *reue- "to smash, knock down, tear up, uproot" (see rough (adj.)).
As an insulting term for "newspaper, magazine" it dates from 1734; slang for "tampon, sanitary napkin" is attested from 1930s (on the rag "menstruating" is from 1948). Rags "personal clothing" is from 1855 (singular), American English. Rags-to-riches "rise from poverty to wealth" is attested by 1896. Rag-picker is from 1860; rag-shop from 1829.
"scold," 1739, of unknown origin; perhaps related to Danish dialectal rag "grudge." Related: Ragged; ragging. Cf. bullyrag, ballarag "intimidate" (1807).