Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

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)

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary