[ rasp, rahsp ]
See synonyms for: raspraspedrasping on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
  1. to scrape or abrade with a rough instrument.

  2. to scrape or rub roughly: The glacier rasped the valley floor.

  1. to grate upon or irritate: The sound rasped his nerves.

  2. to utter with a grating sound: to rasp out an answer.

verb (used without object)
  1. to scrape or grate.

  2. to make a grating sound.

  1. an act of rasping.

  2. a rasping sound.

  1. a coarse file, used mainly on wood, having separate conical teeth.

  2. (in an insect) a roughened surface used in stridulation.

Origin of rasp

1200–50; Middle English raspen<Old French rasper to scrape, grate <Germanic; see rape3

Other words from rasp

  • raspish, adjective
  • un·rasped, adjective

Words Nearby rasp

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use rasp in a sentence

  • Using a rasp, zest the meyer lemon into the bowl and add the chopped herbs, anchovy, capers and a few grinds of black pepper.

    How Top Chefs Stay Thin | Rachel Syme | December 15, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • "I saw you as I was coming away from Kendrick's last night," he began, with a bickering rasp in his voice.

    The Wreckers | Francis Lynde
  • His throat was like sandpaper and the words came out in a rasp.

    The Dark Door | Alan Edward Nourse
  • Sixth, rasp off the outside edge of one end of the pipe as shown.

    Elements of Plumbing | Samuel Dibble
  • If the branch is tapered with the rasp as shown the joint can be made very tight.

    Elements of Plumbing | Samuel Dibble

British Dictionary definitions for rasp (1 of 2)


/ (rɑːsp) /

  1. a harsh grating noise

  2. a coarse file with rows of raised teeth

  1. (tr) to scrape or rub (something) roughly, esp with a rasp; abrade

  2. to utter with or make a harsh grating noise

  1. to irritate (one's nerves or senses); grate (upon)

Origin of rasp

C16: from Old French raspe, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German raspōn to scrape

Derived forms of rasp

  • rasper, noun
  • raspish, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for rasp (2 of 2)


/ (rɑːsp) /

  1. an informal or Scot word for raspberry

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