• To decorate (a wall, etc.) by applying paint with a rag.
  • To become tattered.
  • To break (ore) into lumps for sorting.
  • To cut or dress roughly, as a grindstone.
  • To scold or tell off; to torment; to banter.
  • To drive a car or another vehicle in a hard, fast or unsympathetic manner.
  • To tease or torment, especially at a university; to bully, to haze.
  • To play or compose (a piece, melody, etc.) in syncopated time.
  • To dance to ragtime music.
  • To add syncopation (to a tune) and thereby make it appropriate for a ragtime song.


  • From Middle English ragge, from Old English ragg (suggested by derivative raggiġ), from Old Norse rǫgg. Cognate with Swedish ragg. Related to rug.
  • Unknown origin; perhaps the same word as Etymology 1, above.
  • Origin uncertain.
  • Perhaps from ragged. Compare later ragtime.

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