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[rat-ee] /ˈræt i/
adjective, rattier, rattiest.
full of rats.
of or characteristic of a rat.
wretched; shabby:
a ratty, old overcoat.
Slang. irritable or angry; bad-tempered; nasty:
I always feel ratty when I wake up.
Origin of ratty
1860-65; rat + -y1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ratty
  • More than often, this rather selfish debate seems to take an hour or more, which makes me pretty ratty by the morning.
  • My ratty old toy box was animated into a rectangular troll that had eaten all of my favorite possessions.
  • The office was in a ratty downtown building above a magic shop.
  • Its rough, ratty-looking surface was a prime breeding ground for a clot.
  • There were always a couple of these sounding sticks kicking around in the ratty sub-cushion regions of a flivver.
  • At its center is what looks to be a ratty, decaying recliner.
  • You're sure your ratty underwear is showing, and you're a charlatan and a fraud.
  • Second, my ratty torn stuff is much more comfortable than the new stuff.
  • The distributors thought it was much too ratty for the theater.
  • They're a ragged group in knit caps and ratty coats, hunched over their keyboards.
British Dictionary definitions for ratty


adjective -tier, -tiest
(Brit & NZ, informal) irritable; annoyed
(informal) (of the hair) unkempt or greasy
(US & Canadian, slang) shabby; dilapidated
(Austral, slang)
  1. angry
  2. mad
of, like, or full of rats
Derived Forms
rattily, adverb
rattiness, noun
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 ratty

1856, "resembling a rat;" 1865, "full of rats;" 1867, "wretched, miserable, shabby," from rat (n.) + -y (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for ratty



Shabby; slovenly; scruffy, tacky: The skinny Berkley, with her ratty hair and sharp teeth/ the rat-ass rags he's always wearing (1867+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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