[rasp, rahsp]
See more synonyms for rasp 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.
  3. to grate upon or irritate: The sound rasped his nerves.
  4. 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.
  3. a coarse file, used mainly on wood, having separate conical teeth.
  4. (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
Related formsrasp·ish, adjectiveun·rasped, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for rasped

pound, irk, scrape, rub, scratch, bray, excoriate, jar, vex, irritate, abrade, file, grate, raze, scour, wear, sand

Examples from the Web for rasped

Contemporary Examples of rasped

Historical Examples of rasped

  • "As do all you mortals—who finally have to lie in them," he rasped.


    Horace Brown Fyfe

  • Its eyelids had rasped like stone curtains rubbing together.

  • He rasped the stubble on his chin; his eyes were bland, his voice smooth as cream.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service

  • The sugar-beet is rasped or ground to a pulp and then subjected to great pressure.

    Commercial Geography

    Jacques W. Redway

  • I've rasped every knuckle I've got and worn out the knees of my pants.

    Jack and Jill

    Louisa May Alcott

British Dictionary definitions for rasped


  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
  3. to irritate (one's nerves or senses); grate (upon)
Derived Formsrasper, nounraspish, adjective

Word Origin for rasp

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


  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

Word Origin and History for rasped



mid-13c., "to scrape," from Middle Dutch raspen and from Old French rasper (Modern French râper) "to grate, rasp," which is perhaps from a West Germanic source (cf. Old English gehrespan) akin to the root of raffle. Vocalic sense is from 1843. Related: Rasped; rasping.



"coarse file," 1540s, from Middle French raspe (Modern French râpe), from Old French rasper "to rasp" (see rasp (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper