AskDefine | Define rag

Dictionary Definition



1 a small piece of cloth or paper [syn: shred, tag, tag end, tatter]
2 a week at British universities during which side-shows and processions of floats are organized to raise money for charities [syn: rag week]
3 music with a syncopated melody (usually for the piano) [syn: ragtime]
4 newspaper with half-size pages [syn: tabloid, sheet]
5 a boisterous practical joke (especially by college students)


1 treat cruelly; "The children tormented the stuttering teacher" [syn: torment, bedevil, crucify, dun, frustrate]
2 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" [syn: annoy, get to, bother, get at, irritate, rile, nark, nettle, gravel, vex, chafe, devil]
3 play in ragtime; "rag that old tune"
4 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" [syn: tease, razz, cod, tantalize, tantalise, bait, taunt, twit, rally, ride]
5 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" [syn: call on the carpet, rebuke, trounce, reproof, lecture, reprimand, jaw, dress down, call down, scold, chide, berate, bawl out, remonstrate, chew out, chew up, have words, lambaste, lambast]
6 break into lumps before sorting; "rag ore" [also: ragging, ragged]

User Contributed Dictionary



Middle English ragge, from Old English ragg, from Old Norse rǫgg tuft, shagginess - ca. 14th century
7 - Short for ragtime - ca. 1897



  1. A piece of cloth torn off; a tattered piece of cloth; a shred; a tatter; a fragment.
  2. Hence, mean or tattered attire; worn-out dress.
  3. A shabby, beggarly fellow; a ragamuffin.
  4. A coarse kind of rock, somewhat cellular in texture.
  5. A ragged edge.
  6. A sail, or any piece of canvas.
  7. A piece of ragtime music.
    The song mapleleaf rag has a pleasant, bouncy tune.
  8. In the context of "slang|pejorative": A newspaper, magazine.
  9. In the context of "poker slang": A card that appears to help no one.
  10. In the context of "poker slang": A low card


a coarse kind of rock
  • 2003: the three walls around the garden, each one of thirty-three feet, were built out of three layers of stome — pebble stone, flint and rag stone. — Peter Ackroyd, The Clerkenwell Tales, 2003, page 1.


piece of cloth
  • Dutch: vod, lap
  • German: Lumpen, Fetzen
  • Italian: cencio
  • Polish: ścierka
  • Slovene: cunja
  • Spanish: jirón, trapo
mean or tattered attire
  • Dutch: lompen
shabby, beggarly fellow
coarse kind of rock
ragged edge
sail, or any piece of canvas
  • Dutch: zeil, zeildoek
piece of ragtime music
  • Dutch: rag
Translations to be checked



  1. To scold or rail at; to rate; to tease; to torment; to banter.
  2. To drive a car or another vehicle in a hard, fast or unsympathetic manner.




Etymology 1


  • /rɑx/


  1. Spider web.
Derived terms

Etymology 2

From rag.


  • /ɹæ:g/


  1. A piece of ragtime music.

Extensive Definition

Rag or rags may refer to: People with the surname Rags:
People with the given name Rags:

See also

rag in German: Fetzen

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abuse, acid rock, act drop, afterglow, afterimage, andante tempo, apparel, array, asbestos, asbestos board, attire, avant-garde jazz, backdrop, balance, ballroom music, banter, bark at, baste, batten, bawl out, beat, bebop, bedizenment, berate, betongue, blacken, boltrope, bones, boogie-woogie, bop, border, butt, butt end, candle ends, canvas, carpet, chaff, chew, chew out, clew, cloth, clothes, clothing, compound time, costume, coulisse, counterweight, country rock, cringle, crowd of sail, culm, curtain, curtain board, cyclorama, daily, daily newspaper, dance music, dances, deadwood, debris, decor, deride, detritus, dishwater, draff, drapery, dregs, dress, dressing, drop, drop curtain, duds, duple time, dust, earing, end, etoffe, execrate, extra, extra edition, fabric, fag end, fashion, fatigues, feathers, felt, fig, filings, fire curtain, flat, flipper, folk rock, fool, foot, fore-and-aft sail, fossil, frock, fulminate against, fun, garb, garbage, garment, garments, gash, gazette, gear, goods, gown, grin at, guise, habiliment, habit, hanging, hard rock, haze, head, hogwash, hold in derision, holdover, hot jazz, husks, investiture, investment, jape, jaw, jazz, jest, jive, joke, jolly, josh, kid, lace, largo, laugh at, laugh to scorn, leavings, leech, lees, leftovers, linen, load with reproaches, luff, mainstream jazz, make fun of, make game of, make merry with, march tempo, material, mixed times, musical suite, muslin, napery, national newspaper, needle, neighborhood newspaper, news, newspaper, newspaper of record, odds and ends, offal, offscourings, old clothes, orts, pan, paper, parings, pillory, plain sail, play jazz, point at, poke fun at, potsherds, press of sail, presto, put on, put one on, rags, ragtime, rail, rail at, raiment, rally, rant, raspings, rate, rave against, razz, reduced sail, reef point, reefed sail, refuse, relics, remainder, remains, remnant, residue, residuum, rest, revile, rhythm-and-blues, rib, ride, ridicule, roach, roast, robe, robes, rock, rock-and-roll, rubato, rubbish, ruins, rump, sail, sawdust, scene, scenery, scourings, scrap iron, scraps, screen, scum, sextuple time, shadow, shards, shavings, sheet, side scene, silk, simple time, slack, slag, slop, slops, smile at, snicker at, snigger at, special, special edition, sportswear, square sail, stage screw, straw, stubble, stuff, stump, style, suite, suite of dances, survival, sweepings, swill, swing, syncopate, syncopated music, syncopation, syncope, tab, tableau, tabloid, tares, tatters, tease, teaser, tempo, tempo rubato, textile, textile fabric, texture, the new music, threads, three-quarter time, thunder against, time, time pattern, timing, tissu, tissue, togs, toilette, tongue-lash, tormentor, trace, transformation, transformation scene, trim, triple time, triplet, twit, two-four time, vestige, vestment, vesture, vilify, vituperate, waltz time, wastage, waste, waste matter, wastepaper, wear, wearing apparel, weave, web, weeds, weekly, weekly newspaper, weft, wing, wingcut, woodcut, woof, wool, yell at, yelp at
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