1. clothed in tattered garments: a ragged old man.
  2. torn or worn to rags; tattered: ragged clothing.
  3. shaggy, as an animal, its coat, etc.
  4. having loose or hanging shreds or fragmentary bits: a ragged wound.
  5. full of rough or sharp projections; jagged: ragged stones.
  6. in a wild or neglected state: a ragged garden.
  7. rough, imperfect, or faulty: a ragged piece of work.
  8. harsh, as sound, the voice, etc.
  9. (of a column of type) set or printed with one side unjustified; either flush left with the right side unjustified (ragged right) or flush right with the left side unjustified (ragged left).

Origin of ragged

First recorded in 1250–1300, ragged is from the Middle English word ragget. See rag1, -ed3
Related formsrag·ged·ly, adverbrag·ged·ness, noun

Synonyms for ragged

1. shabby, poor. 2. shredded, rent.

Antonyms for ragged

1. neat.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for raggedly

Historical Examples of raggedly

  • Ayaw tagaktagaka (itagaktagak), Recite it together in unison, not raggedly.

  • But it was not this alone that made his breath come short and raggedly.

    The Yukon Trail

    William MacLeod Raine

  • They were determined men, raggedly clothed and bearded; incurious of gaze and uncommunicative of speech—but armed and purposeful.

    When 'Bear Cat' Went Dry

    Charles Neville Buck

  • The German line emerged from the smoke, raggedly but yet solidly enough to overwhelm the weakened defense.

    Grapes of wrath

    Boyd Cable

  • From his raggedly whiskered lips burst a growl and a yawp which, too late, he regretted.

    The Tyranny of Weakness

    Charles Neville Buck

British Dictionary definitions for raggedly


  1. (of clothes) worn to rags; tattered
  2. (of a person) dressed in shabby tattered clothes
  3. having a neglected or unkempt appearanceragged weeds
  4. having a loose, rough, or uneven surface or edge; jagged
  5. uneven or irregulara ragged beat; a ragged shout
Derived Formsraggedly, adverbraggedness, noun

Word Origin for ragged

C13: probably from ragge rag 1
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 raggedly



"rough, shaggy," c.1300, past participle adjective as though from a verb form of rag (n.). Cf. Latin pannosus "ragged, wrinkly," from pannus "piece of cloth." But the word might reflect a broader, older meaning; perhaps from or reinforced by Old Norse raggaðr "shaggy," via Old English raggig "shaggy, bristly, rough" (which, Barnhart writes, "was almost surely developed from Scandinavian"). Of clothes, early 14c.; of persons, late 14c. To run (someone) ragged is from 1915. Related: Raggedly; raggedness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with raggedly


see run one ragged.

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