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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Strange, too, he came of good family; good blood in his veins; and yet he seems to have gone right down with the ragtag.

    Quiet Talks on Power S.D. Gordon
  • To make myself amiable and pay court to all the ragtag and bobtail is not in my line.

  • Without the populace having any hand in it, the ragtag and bobtail of the strangers became bolder and shouted more and more.

    The Legend of Ulenspiegel Charles de Coster
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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