The word "rag" refers to old clothing that looks bad on the person wearing it, or it could be a cloth that’s used for cleaning.

  • Joe made some rags out of old t-shirts and used them to clean his car.
  • Do you need a rag to clean up that mess?
  • Old towels make good rags.
  • The old man walked through the street dressed in tattered rags.
  • Martha complains that she has only rags to wear. She wants to buy some new clothes.
  • This shirt is practically a rag, but I still like to wear it because it’s comfortable.

It’s possible to use the word "rag" as a verb if a person is complaining to your about something:

  • Todd’s wife is always ragging on him to clean the garage.
  • The teacher ragged about poor test scores in class this morning.
  • Jeanna’s boss is ragging on her to complete an assignment her gave her months ago.


He wiped his hands off with a rag.

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This page was first published on November 18, 2013. It was updated on August 11, 2016.