rag doll



a stuffed doll, especially of cloth.

Origin of rag doll

First recorded in 1850–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rag-doll

Historical Examples of rag-doll

  • On the tenth of that month the Child of the Millionaire lost her rag-doll.

  • Gay clamored to go, but was pacified by the gift of a rag-doll that Samantha had made for her the evening before.

    Timothy's Quest

    Kate Douglas Wiggin

  • There she heard him giving vent to his emotions in subdued whining and growling and in much worrying and tearing of the rag-doll.

    The Fate of Felix Brand

    Florence Finch Kelly

  • Well,” said her mother, “you could at least make the girl a rag-doll like those you made for the orphans last winter.

    Kristy's Rainy Day Picnic

    Olive Thorne Miller

  • Out of her traveling-bag she took sewing implements, and in a short time Ethel was busily engaged in fashioning a rag-doll.

    Kristy's Rainy Day Picnic

    Olive Thorne Miller

Word Origin and History for rag-doll

child's plaything, 1776 (from 1757 as "a dressed-up woman"), from rag (n.1) + doll (n.). Rag-baby attested from 1798. Shakespeare has babe of clowts (i.e. "clouts"), 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with rag-doll

rag doll

A limp, ineffectual person, as in You won't get a decision from her; she's a rag doll when it comes to making up her mind. This expression transfers the limpness of a soft doll made from scraps of cloth to human behavior. [Mid-1800s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.