rag trade

noun Slang.

the garment, clothing, or fashion industry.

Origin of rag trade

First recorded in 1835–45
Also called rag business.


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

Examples from the Web for rag business

  • There is, in Galveston a new-invented trade, called “the rag-trade,” which is very profitable.

  • There is in Galveston a new-invented trade, called "the rag-trade," which is very profitable.

    Monsieur Violet|Frederick Marryat

British Dictionary definitions for rag business

rag trade


informal the clothing business, esp the aspects concerned with the manufacture and sale of dresses
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