adjective, raw·er, raw·est.
  1. uncooked, as articles of food: a raw carrot.
  2. not having undergone processes of preparing, dressing, finishing, refining, or manufacture: raw cotton.
  3. unnaturally or painfully exposed, as flesh, by removal of the skin or natural integument.
  4. painfully open, as a sore or wound.
  5. crude in quality or character; not tempered or refined by art or taste: raw humor.
  6. ignorant, inexperienced, or untrained: a raw recruit.
  7. brutally or grossly frank: a raw portrayal of human passions.
  8. brutally harsh or unfair: a raw deal; receiving raw treatment from his friends.
  9. disagreeably damp and chilly, as the weather or air: a raw, foggy day at the beach.
  10. not diluted, as alcoholic spirits: raw whiskey.
  11. unprocessed or unevaluated: raw data.
  1. a sore or irritated place, as on the flesh.
  2. unrefined sugar, oil, etc.
  1. in the raw,
    1. in the natural, uncultivated, or unrefined state: nature in the raw.
    2. Informal.in the nude; naked: sunbathing in the raw.

Origin of raw

before 1000; Middle English; Old English hrēaw, hrǣw; cognate with Dutch rauw, German roh; akin to Latin crūdus raw (see crude), cruor blood, Greek kréas raw flesh
Related formsraw·ish, adjectiveraw·ish·ness, nounraw·ly, adverbraw·ness, nounhalf-raw, adjectivesem·i·raw, adjectivesem·i·raw·ly, adverbsem·i·raw·ness, noun

Synonyms for raw

Synonym study

2. Raw, crude, rude refer to something not in a finished or highly refined state. Raw applies particularly to material not yet changed by a process, by manufacture, or by preparation for consumption: raw cotton; raw leather. Crude refers to that which still needs refining: crude petroleum. Rude refers to what is still in a condition of rough simplicity or in a makeshift or roughly made form: rude agricultural implements; the rude bridge that arched the flood.

Antonyms for raw

1. cooked.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rawly

Contemporary Examples of rawly

  • Stewart and Colbert had to deliver the slap and the smack as speedily and as rawly as possible.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Telling the Boss Off

    Lee Siegel

    January 16, 2010

Historical Examples of rawly

  • This was when I had nearly reached the rawly ripe age of sixteen.

    Buckskin Mose

    Buckskin Mose

  • He had met Opal's eyes and she was shaking with mirth, but somehow it affected him rawly.

    The City of Fire

    Grace Livingston Hill

  • I have discovered at least how it was pronounced in his time—thus, Rawly.

  • Possibly not a "deceived" husband; and no longer so rawly flagrant a failure as a human companion.

    On the Stairs

    Henry B. Fuller

  • He followed the tracks they'd made going in and saw the six buffalo carcasses, rawly naked already freezing.

    The Lost Wagon

    James Arthur Kjelgaard

British Dictionary definitions for rawly


  1. (of food) not cookedraw onion
  2. (prenominal) in an unfinished, natural, or unrefined state; not treated by manufacturing or other processesraw materials for making steel; raw brick
  3. (of an edge of material) unhemmed; liable to fray
  4. (of the skin, a wound, etc) having the surface exposed or abraded, esp painfully
  5. ignorant, inexperienced, or immaturea raw recruit
  6. (prenominal) not selected or modifiedraw statistics
  7. frank or realistica raw picture of the breakdown of a marriage
  8. (of spirits) undiluted
  9. mainly US coarse, vulgar, or obscene
  10. mainly US recently done; freshraw paintwork
  11. (of the weather) harshly cold and damp
  12. informal unfair; unjust (esp in the phrase a raw deal)
  1. the raw British informal a sensitive pointhis criticism touched me on the raw
  2. in the raw
    1. informalwithout clothes; naked
    2. in a natural or unmodified statelife in the raw
Derived Formsrawish, adjectiverawly, adverbrawness, noun

Word Origin for raw

Old English hreaw; related to Old High German hrao, Old Norse hrār raw, Latin cruor thick blood, Greek kreas meat
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 rawly



Old English hreaw "uncooked, raw," from Proto-Germanic *khrawaz (cf. Old Norse hrar, Danish raa, Old Saxon hra, Middle Dutch rau, Dutch rauw, Old High German hrawer, German roh), from PIE root *kreue- (1) "raw flesh" (cf. Sanskrit kravih "raw flesh," krura- "bloody, raw, hard;" Greek kreas "flesh;" Latin crudus "not cooked," cruor "thick blood;" Old Irish cru, Lithuanian kraujas, Old Church Slavonic kruvi "blood;" Old English hrot "thick fluid, serum").

Meaning "tender, sore" is from late 14c.; of persons, "inexperienced" from 1560s; of weather, "damp and chilly" first recorded 1540s. Related: Rawly; rawness. Raw material is from 1796, with sense of "in a rudimental condition, unfinished." Phrase in the raw "naked" (1921) is from the raw "exposed flesh," attested from 1823. Raw deal "harsh treatment" attested by 1893.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

rawly in Medicine


  1. Having subcutaneous tissue exposed.
  2. Inflamed; sore.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with rawly


In addition to the idiom beginning with raw

  • raw deal

also see:

  • in the altogether (raw)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.