adjective Slang.

flashy, unrefined, etc.; low-class: ratchet girls wearing too much makeup.
exhibiting or affirming low-class traits in a way that is considered authentic: Better to stay a ratchet bitch than become a bougie poser like her.
extremely good; awesome.

Nearby words

  1. ratbag,
  2. ratbaggery,
  3. ratbite fever,
  4. ratcatcher,
  5. ratch,
  6. ratchet effect,
  7. ratchet jack,
  8. ratchet wheel,
  9. rate,
  10. rate base

Also ratched [racht] /rætʃt/.

Origin of ratchet

First recorded in 1990–95; from a dance and genre of hip-hop music originating in Shreveport, Louisiana

Related formsratch·et·ness, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rachet

British Dictionary definitions for rachet



a device in which a toothed rack or wheel is engaged by a pawl to permit motion in one direction only
the toothed rack or wheel forming part of such a device


to operate using a ratchet
(usually foll by up or down) to increase or decrease, esp irreversiblyelectricity prices will ratchet up this year; Hitchcock ratchets up the tension once again

Word Origin for ratchet

C17: from French rochet, from Old French rocquet blunt head of a lance, of Germanic origin: compare Old High German rocko distaff

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

Word Origin and History for rachet
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper