Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: CLEANING

Sense: 1-4,6
Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old Norse
Origin: rögg 'rough hairiness'
Sense: 5
Date: 1800-1900
Origin: ragtime

rag

1 noun
     
rag1
1

cloth

[uncountable and countable]DHC a small piece of old cloth, for example one used for cleaning things:
He wiped his boots dry with an old rag.
an oily rag
2

newspaper

[countable] informalTCN a newspaper, especially one that you think is not particularly important or of good quality:
He writes for the local rag.
3

in rags

DCC wearing old torn clothes:
Children in rags begged money from the tourists.
4

from rags to riches

becoming very rich after starting your life very poor:
He likes to tell people of his rise from rags to riches.
rags-to-riches
5

music

[countable]APM a piece of ragtime music
6

students' event

[countable] British EnglishSEC an event organized by students every year in order to make money for people who are poor, sick etc:
rag week

➔ glad rags

at glad (7)

➔ like a red rag to a bull

at red1 (5)

➔ lose your rag

at lose (11)
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