Try Our Apps


Blech. These are the grossest words.


[rasp, rahsp] /ræsp, rɑsp/
verb (used with object)
to scrape or abrade with a rough instrument.
to scrape or rub roughly:
The glacier rasped the valley floor.
to grate upon or irritate:
The sound rasped his nerves.
to utter with a grating sound:
to rasp out an answer.
verb (used without object)
to scrape or grate.
to make a grating sound.
an act of rasping.
a rasping sound.
a coarse file, used mainly on wood, having separate conical teeth.
(in an insect) a roughened surface used in stridulation.
Origin of rasp
1200-50; Middle English raspen < Old French rasper to scrape, grate < Germanic; see rape3
Related forms
raspish, adjective
unrasped, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for rasp
Contemporary Examples
  • Using a rasp, zest the meyer lemon into the bowl and add the chopped herbs, anchovy, capers and a few grinds of black pepper.

Historical Examples
  • Neither combatant said a word, the rasp of their calloused feet on the sand the only sound.

    Planet of the Damned Harry Harrison
  • The rasp of the hand-saw informed him that he had been obeyed.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • Then the commander heard the rasp of a wire trawl sweeping over his hull.

    Sea Warfare Rudyard Kipling
  • Chance for me to rasp him, hey, by wishing you onto the family?

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • In the letter just quoted, Rale seems to have done his best to rasp the temper of his New England correspondent.

  • I'll bet money she done it just t' rasp his feelin's—and she sure succeeded.

    Chip, of the Flying U B. M. Bower
  • Hold the work in such a way that the stroke of the rasp can be seen without moving the pipe.

    Elements of Plumbing Samuel Dibble
  • Instantly, with a rasp of thunder, it was gone, and the air was stifling.

    The Affair of the Brains Anthony Gilmore
  • Rough and hard as a rasp was Jomfru van Loos, and had been all her days till now.

    Mothwise Knut Hamsun
British Dictionary definitions for rasp


a harsh grating noise
a coarse file with rows of raised teeth
(transitive) to scrape or rub (something) roughly, esp with a rasp; abrade
to utter with or make a harsh grating noise
to irritate (one's nerves or senses); grate (upon)
Derived Forms
rasper, noun
raspish, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Old French raspe, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German raspōn to scrape


an informal or Scot word for raspberry
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for rasp

mid-13c., "to scrape," from Middle Dutch raspen and from Old French rasper (Modern French râper) "to grate, rasp," which is perhaps from a West Germanic source (cf. Old English gehrespan) akin to the root of raffle. Vocalic sense is from 1843. Related: Rasped; rasping.


"coarse file," 1540s, from Middle French raspe (Modern French râpe), from Old French rasper "to rasp" (see rasp (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
rasp in Technology

["RASP - A Language with Operations on Fuzzy Sets", D.D. Djakovic, Comp Langs 13(3):143-148 (1988)].

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for rasp

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for rasp

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for rasp