[ tat-er-di-meyl-yuhn, -mal- ]
See synonyms for: tatterdemaliontatterdemalions on Thesaurus.com

  1. a person in tattered clothing; a shabby person.

  1. ragged; unkempt or dilapidated.

Origin of tatterdemalion

1600–10; first written tatter-de-mallian and rhymed with Italian;see tatter1; -de-mallian< ?

Words Nearby tatterdemalion

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

How to use tatterdemalion in a sentence

  • Coronado's first bullet knocked a villainous-looking tatterdemalion clean into the happy hunting grounds.

    Overland | John William De Forest
  • Your father was a tatterdemalion like yourself, and never saw two jars of gold even in his dreams.

  • Wal, she didnt look quite sech a tatterdemalion, granted Aunt Alvirah.

  • “One that cannot be lightly denied,” said the tatterdemalion.

    Fantastic Fables | Ambrose Bierce
  • Carelessly Ralph Dacre sauntered forth again into the moonlight and confronted the tatterdemalion figure of his visitor.

    The Lamp in the Desert | Ethel M. Dell

British Dictionary definitions for tatterdemalion


/ (ˌtætədɪˈmeɪljən, -ˈmæl-) /

  1. rare

    • a person dressed in ragged clothes

    • (as modifier): a tatterdemalion dress

Origin of tatterdemalion

C17: from tatter + -demalion, of uncertain 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