1. Tattered, frayed, or torn: ragged clothes.
2. Dressed in tattered or threadbare clothes: a ragged scarecrow.
3. Unkempt or shaggy: ragged hair.
4. Having an irregular surface or edge; uneven or jagged in outline: a column of text set with a ragged right margin.
5. Imperfect; uneven: The actor gave a ragged performance.
6. Harsh; rasping: a ragged cough.
7. Exhausted or worn out: Don't run yourself ragged preparing for the holidays.
[Middle English, from ragge, rag; see RAG1.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.