adjective Etymology: ragtag and bobtail Date: 1865 1. ragged, unkempt 2. motley 2 <
a ragtag bunch of misfits

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ragtag — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ untidy, disorganized, or incongruously varied: a ragtag group of idealists. ORIGIN superseding earlier tag rag and tag and rag (see RAG(Cf. ↑rag), TAG(Cf. ↑tag)) …   English terms dictionary

  • ragtag — [rag′tag΄] n. [ RAG1 + TAG] the lowest classes; rabble: usually ragtag and bobtail adj. 1. raggedy, unkempt, disorderly, etc. 2. made up of mixed or ill sorted elements …   English World dictionary

  • ragtag — 1820, from RAG (Cf. rag) (n.) + TAG (Cf. tag) (n.); originally in expression rag tag and bobtail the rabble (tag rag and bobtail is found in 1650s), from bobtail cur, 1610s. Tag and rag was very common in 16 17th c. [OED] …   Etymology dictionary

  • ragtag — adjective a) Unkempt, shabby, or in a state of disrepair. He liked to wear an old ragtag coat that was so threadbare that hed get sunburned through it. b) Very diverse; comprised of irregular and dissimilar components. The guerrillas were a… …   Wiktionary

  • ragtag — rag|tag [ˈrægtæg] adj [only before noun] [Date: 1800 1900; Origin: rag + tag] informal a ragtag group is not tidy or properly organized ▪ a ragtag fighting force …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • ragtag — adjective 1 informal looking untidy, poor, and dirty: a ragtag bunch of kids 2 ragtag and bobtail old fashioned a crowd of untidy, poor people …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • ragtag — /ˈrægtæg/ (say ragtag) noun 1. the worst elements; riffraff. –phrase 2. ragtag and bobtail, riffraff or rabble. {rag1 + tag1 (def. 20) …   Australian English dictionary

  • ragtag — /rag tag /, adj. 1. ragged or shabby; disheveled. 2. made up of mixed, often diverse, elements: a ragtag crowd. [1880 85; RAG1 + TAG1] * * * …   Universalium

  • ragtag — adj. Ragtag is used with these nouns: ↑army, ↑band, ↑bunch …   Collocations dictionary

  • ragtag — rag|tag [ ræg,tæg ] adjective INFORMAL consisting of various types of people whose clothing, equipment, and skills are not very good: a ragtag army …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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