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rag Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a small piece of cloth or paper
    tatter; shred; tag; tag end.
  2. noun a week at British universities during which side-shows and processions of floats are organized to raise money for charities
    rag week.
  3. noun music with a syncopated melody (usually for the piano)
  4. noun newspaper with half-size pages
    tabloid; sheet.
  5. noun a boisterous practical joke (especially by college students)
  6. verb treat cruelly
    bedevil; crucify; dun; frustrate; torment.
    • The children tormented the stuttering teacher
  7. verb cause annoyance in; disturb, especially by minor irritations
    annoy; devil; bother; vex; irritate; nettle; rile; get to; nark; get at; gravel; chafe.
    • Mosquitoes buzzing in my ear really bothers me
    • It irritates me that she never closes the door after she leaves
  8. verb play in ragtime
    • rag that old tune
  9. verb harass with persistent criticism or carping
    razz; bait; tantalize; twit; taunt; ride; tease; cod; rally; tantalise.
    • 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. verb censure severely or angrily
    call on the carpet; dress down; remonstrate; chew out; take to task; call down; jaw; lambast; trounce; scold; chide; berate; chew up; have words; rebuke; reprimand; reproof; lecture; bawl out; lambaste.
    • 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. verb break into lumps before sorting
    • rag ore

Rag transitive verb
Cf. Icel. rægja to calumniate, OHG, ruogen to accuse, G. rügen to censure, AS. wregan, Goth. wr&omac;hjan to accuse.
  1. To scold or rail at; to rate; to tease; to torment; to banter. Prov. Eng. Pegge.
Rag noun
OE. ragge, probably of Scand, origin; cf. Icel. rögg rough hair. Cf. Rug, n.
  1. A piece of cloth torn off; a tattered piece of cloth; a shred; a tatter; a fragment.
    Cowls, hoods, and habits, with their wearers, tossed, And fluttered into rags. Milton.
    Not having otherwise any rag of legality to cover the shame of their cruelty. Fuller.
  2. pl. Hence, mean or tattered attire; worn-out dress.
    And virtue, though in rags, will keep me warm. Dryden.
  3. A shabby, beggarly fellow; a ragamuffin.
    The other zealous rag is the compositor. B. Jonson.
    Upon the proclamation, they all came in, both tag and rag. Spenser.
  4. (Geol.) A coarse kind of rock, somewhat cellular in texture.
  5. (Metal Working) A ragged edge.
  6. A sail, or any piece of canvas. Nautical Slang
    Our ship was a clipper with every rag set. Lowell.
Rag intransitive verb
imperfect & past participle Ragged ; present participle & verbal noun Ragging
  1. To become tattered. Obs.
Rag transitive verb
  1. To break (ore) into lumps for sorting.
  2. To cut or dress roughly, as a grindstone.

Webster 1913