rag

1
[ rag ]
/ ræg /

noun

Idioms

    chew the rag. chew(def 11).
    from rags to riches, from extreme poverty to great wealth: He went from rags to riches in only three years.

Origin of rag

1
1275–1325; Middle English ragge < Scandinavian; compare Norwegian, Swedish ragg coarse hair < Old Norse rǫgg

Definition for rags (2 of 4)

rag

2
[ rag ]
/ ræg /
Informal.

verb (used with object), ragged, rag·ging.

to scold.
to subject to a teasing, especially in an intense or prolonged way (often followed by on): Some of the boys were ragging on him about his haircut.
British. to torment with jokes; play crude practical jokes on.

noun

British. an act of ragging.

Origin of rag

2
First recorded in 1790–1800; origin uncertain

Definition for rags (3 of 4)

rag

3
[ rag ]
/ ræg /

verb (used with object), ragged, rag·ging.

to break up (lumps of ore) for sorting.

Origin of rag

3
First recorded in 1870–75; origin uncertain

Definition for rags (4 of 4)

rag

4
[ rag ]
/ ræg /

noun

a musical composition in ragtime: a piano rag.

verb (used with object), ragged, rag·ging.

to play (music) in ragtime.

Origin of rag

4
First recorded in 1895–1900; shortened form of ragtime
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rags

British Dictionary definitions for rags (1 of 5)

rags

/ (ræɡz) /

pl n

torn, old, or shabby clothing
cotton or linen cloth waste used in the manufacture of rag paper
from rags to riches informal
  1. from poverty to great wealth
  2. (as modifier)a rags-to-riches tale
glad rags informal best clothes; finery

British Dictionary definitions for rags (2 of 5)

rag

1
/ (ræɡ) /

noun

See also rags

Word Origin for rag

C14: probably back formation from ragged, from Old English raggig; related to Old Norse rögg tuft

British Dictionary definitions for rags (3 of 5)

rag

2
/ (ræɡ) /

verb rags, ragging or ragged (tr)

to draw attention facetiously and persistently to the shortcomings or alleged shortcomings of (a person)
British to play rough practical jokes on

noun

British a boisterous practical joke, esp one on a fellow student
(in British universities)
  1. a period, usually a week, in which various events are organized to raise money for charity, including a procession of decorated floats and tableaux
  2. (as modifier)rag day

Word Origin for rag

C18: of uncertain origin

British Dictionary definitions for rags (4 of 5)

rag

3
/ (ræɡ) jazz /

noun

a piece of ragtime music

verb rags, ragging or ragged

(tr) to compose or perform in ragtime

Word Origin for rag

C20: shortened from ragtime

British Dictionary definitions for rags (5 of 5)

rag

4
/ (ræɡ) /

noun

a roofing slate that is rough on one side

Word Origin for rag

C13: of obscure origin
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

Idioms and Phrases with rags

rag


In addition to the idiom beginning with rag

  • rag doll

also see:

  • chew the fat (rag)
  • from rags to riches
  • glad rags
  • run ragged
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.