[ras-ping, rah-sping]
See more synonyms for rasping on Thesaurus.com
  1. a tiny piece of material removed by rasping or scraping: raspings of sawed wood.
  2. raspings, dry bread crumbs.

Origin of rasping

First recorded in 1650–60; rasp + -ing2, -ing1
Related formsrasp·ing·ly, adverbrasp·ing·ness, nounun·rasp·ing, adjective


[rasp, rahsp]
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 rasping

rough, grinding, grating, abrasive, harsh, raucous, stridulous, hoarse, raspy

Examples from the Web for rasping

Historical Examples of rasping

  • On the night of the third day the weather cleared and settled, cold and rasping.

  • No rasping essences, none of the exterior of blackness and crêpe.

  • It was brisk and rasping, and the lips through which it passed were curved in scorn.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • "I sh'd be sorry if I wasn't," he answered, in swift, rasping accents.

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

  • That same line you advised, has got three as rasping fences as I should like to meet with.

    The O'Donoghue

    Charles James Lever

British Dictionary definitions for rasping


raspy (ˈrɑːspɪ)

  1. (esp of a noise) harsh or grating; rough


  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 rasping



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