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Word of the Day
Friday, July 18, 2008

Definitions for tatterdemalion

  1. ragged; unkempt or dilapidated.
  2. a person in tattered clothing; a shabby person.

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Citations for tatterdemalion
He seemed to fit the tatterdemalion apartment perfectly: his dark clothes threadbare, his beard unkempt, his shoes cracked, with his right foot resting on the floor at an odd angle to the other. Chaim Potok, Old Men at Midnight, 2001
To my ear, though, the prose has the tatterdemalion feel of something hooked together by commas, tacked together by periods. Brad Leithauser, "Capturer of Hearts," New York Times, April 7, 1996
Origin of tatterdemalion
Tatterdemalion entered English in the early 1600s. This term was first written tatter-de-mallian and rhymed with battalion.