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[rag-tag] /ˈrægˌtæg/
ragged or shabby; disheveled.
made up of mixed, often diverse, elements:
a ragtag crowd.
Origin of ragtag
1880-85; rag1 + tag1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ragtag
  • After all, there was no reigning in this ragtag band.
  • The ragtag bunch of misanthropes are being called together for one final, frantic mission.
  • Compared with others it was humble, ragtag, out in the middle of no place.
  • Another show, another ragtag bunch of seekers on a mysterious quest that involves an awful lot of running.
  • It might not seem the best moment for the ragtag gang to make its stand.
  • It is unclear how many, if any, of the latest deportees are related to these ragtag rebels.
  • He is also turning his ragtag primary operation into a presidential campaign machine.
  • He is forced to commandeer a battered old submarine chaser and its ragtag crew.
  • It has taken a ragtag system operating antiquated equipment to a modern rail system in little over a decade.
  • ragtag is a fun-loving swallow who does what he can to avoid responsibility.
British Dictionary definitions for ragtag


(derogatory) the common people; rabble (esp in the phrase ragtag and bobtail)
Word Origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ragtag

also rag-tag, "ragged people collectively," 1820, from rag (n.) + tag (n.); originally in expression rag-tag and bobtail "the rabble" (tag-rag and bobtail is found in 1650s), with bobtail an old 17c. word for "cur." Tag and rag was "very common in 16-17th c." [OED]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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