What does rag mean?

Definitions for rag

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word rag.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. rag, shred, tag, tag end, tatternoun

    a small piece of cloth or paper

  2. rag, rag weeknoun

    a week at British universities during which side-shows and processions of floats are organized to raise money for charities

  3. ragtime, ragnoun

    music with a syncopated melody (usually for the piano)

  4. tabloid, rag, sheetnoun

    newspaper with half-size pages

  5. ragverb

    a boisterous practical joke (especially by college students)

  6. torment, rag, bedevil, crucify, dun, frustrateverb

    treat cruelly

    "The children tormented the stuttering teacher"

  7. annoy, rag, get to, bother, get at, irritate, rile, nark, nettle, gravel, vex, chafe, devilverb

    cause annoyance in; disturb, especially by minor irritations

    "Mosquitoes buzzing in my ear really bothers me"; "It irritates me that she never closes the door after she leaves"

  8. ragverb

    play in ragtime

    "rag that old tune"

  9. tease, razz, rag, cod, tantalize, tantalise, bait, taunt, twit, rally, rideverb

    harass with persistent criticism or carping

    "The children teased the new teacher"; "Don't ride me so hard over my failure"; "His fellow workers razzed him when he wore a jacket and tie"

  10. call on the carpet, take to task, rebuke, rag, trounce, reproof, lecture, reprimand, jaw, dress down, call down, scold, chide, berate, bawl out, remonstrate, chew out, chew up, have words, lambaste, lambastverb

    censure severely or angrily

    "The mother scolded the child for entering a stranger's car"; "The deputy ragged the Prime Minister"; "The customer dressed down the waiter for bringing cold soup"

  11. ragverb

    break into lumps before sorting

    "rag ore"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. RAGnoun

    Etymology: hracode , torn, Saxon; ράκος.

    Cowls, hoods and habits, with their wearers tost,
    And flutter’d into rags. John Milton.

    Rags are a great improvement of chalky lands. John Mortimer.

    Fathers that wear rags,
    Do make their children blind;
    But fathers that bear bags,
    Shall see their children kind. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    Worn like a cloth,
    Gnawn into rags by the devouring moth. George Sandys.

    Content with poverty, my soul I arm;
    And virtue, though in rags, will keep me warm. Dryden.

    He had first matter seen undrest;
    He took her naked all alone,
    Before one rag of form was on. Hudibras, p. i.


  1. rag

    A rag is typically a piece of old cloth, especially one torn from a larger piece, used typically for cleaning things. In a different context, it can also refer to a newspaper, considered to be low quality or sensational. In a musical sense, "rag" or "ragtime" refers to a type of jazz music featuring a syncopated melody against a steady rhythm.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Ragverb

    to scold or rail at; to rate; to tease; to torment; to banter

  2. Ragnoun

    a piece of cloth torn off; a tattered piece of cloth; a shred; a tatter; a fragment

  3. Ragnoun

    hence, mean or tattered attire; worn-out dress

  4. Ragnoun

    a shabby, beggarly fellow; a ragamuffin

  5. Ragnoun

    a coarse kind of rock, somewhat cellular in texture

  6. Ragnoun

    a ragged edge

  7. Ragnoun

    a sail, or any piece of canvas

  8. Ragverb

    to become tattered

  9. Ragverb

    to break (ore) into lumps for sorting

  10. Ragverb

    to cut or dress roughly, as a grindstone

  11. Etymology: [OE. ragge, probably of Scand, origin; cf. Icel. rgg a tuft, shagginess, Sw. ragg rough hair. Cf. Rug, n.]


  1. Rag

    University Rag societies are student-run charitable fundraising organisations that are widespread in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Most universities in the UK and Ireland, as well as some in South Africa and the Netherlands have a Rag. In some universities Rags are known as Charities Campaigns, Charity Appeals, Charity Kommittees, or Karnivals, but they all share many attributes. In the UK, the National Student Fundraising Association, set up in December 2011, exists as a support and resource sharing organisation run by those managing rags for others managing RAGs.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Rag

    rag, n. a fragment of cloth: a rock having a rough irregular surface: a remnant, scrap: a beggarly person: anything rent or worn out.—adj. made of rags.—v.t. to make ragged.—v.i. to become ragged, to fray: (U.S. slang) to dress (out).—ns. Rag′abash, a low fellow; Rag′amuffin, a low, disreputable person.—adj. Rag′amuffinly.—ns. Rag′-bush, in some heathen countries, a bush dedicated to some deity and decorated with rags torn from the clothes of pilgrims; Rag′-dust, the refuse of rags used by dyers; Rag′-fair, a fair or market for rags, old clothes, &c.; Rag′gery, rags collectively; Rag′ging, the first rough separation of the ore from dross; Rag′-man, a man who collects or deals in rags; Rag′-mon′ey (slang), paper money; Rag′-pick′er, one who collects rags, &c., from ash-heaps, dung-hills, &c.: a machine for tearing old rags, &c., to pieces; Rag′-shop, a shop where rag-pickers dispose of their finds; Rag′-sort′er, one who sorts out rags for paper-making; Rag′-stone, Ragg, an impure limestone, consisting chiefly of lime and silica; Rag′-tag, the rabble; Rag′weed, any plant of the composite genus Ambrosia; Rag′wheel, a wheel with teeth or cogs on the rim, which fit into the links of a chain or into rackwork: a cutlass polishing-wheel; Rag′-wool, shoddy; Rag′work, mason-work built of small stones about the size of bricks: a manufacture from strips of rag.—Rag-tag and bobtail, a rabble. [Ice. rögg, shagginess.]

  2. Rag

    rag, v.t. to banter, torment.—Also n. [Perh. from the previous word; others refer to Ice. rægja, to calumniate; cog. with A.S. wrégan, to accuse.]

Suggested Resources

  1. RAG

    What does RAG stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the RAG acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Rag

    Theatrical slang for the curtain, having originally reference to the green baize. Also military slang for the national flag, and the members’ colloquial term for the Army and Navy Club.

How to pronounce rag?

How to say rag in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of rag in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of rag in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of rag in a Sentence

  1. Larry Yepez:

    I could feel his strength. I felt like a little rag doll underneath him.

  2. Rosa Ponselle:

    In the surroundings of an opera performance, once I am deep in it, I am living it. Between the acts and in my dressing room to change costumes, I do not realize I am Rosa Ponselle. I seem instead to be Aida, Gioconda, Norma--the woman I am singing. And when the last curtain falls, I am a rag--but contented.

  3. Debbie Wirth:

    He just says, ‘ Come in, I ’ll give you another McDouble. ’ Well, you know, that’s not the point, i got a rag, no apology, no nothing.

  4. Giuseppe Antoci:

    One of the mob’s arson techniques is to tie a petrol-soaked rag to the tail of a cat and set fire to it, as its tail burns, the cat flees in terror into the undergrowth in the woods, setting fire to everything in touches.

  5. Katie Smith:

    Too often, the only signs of FEMA's much-hyped promise of PPE shipments — an allotment of gowns, gloves, masks and goggles based on staffing size of the provider — are scattershot delivery with varying amounts of rag-tag supplies.

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Translations for rag

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"rag." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 15 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/rag>.

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    call in an official matter, such as to attend court
    A abash
    B summon
    C embellish
    D famish

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