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January 11, 2022

Ragamuffin / ra-gə-ˌmə-fən / noun

Definition: The term ragamuffin is often used to describe a child or adult who appears to be unkempt or unclean. Wearing torn, dirty, or wrong-sized clothes, a ragamuffin is seen by society to be disreputable, dislikeable, and completely undesirable.

A ragamuffin is not a respected member of society. The term is used negatively to discount, discourage, or demonize a person and their character.

Etymology: The origin of the word ragamuffin is related to the word rag. The first recorded use of the word in Middle English described an undesirable, raggedy, or unintelligent person.

The first recorded use of the word ragamuffin was in 1581. In Middle English, the word ragamuffin was a noun to describe a person with a dirty, ragged, or raggedy-looking appearance. People who were thought to be ragamuffins were seen as low-class, unintelligent, and undesirable.

The term can also describe a demon or a form of reggae-style music.

In a Sentence

The man was unkempt, and he often went to work looking like a ragamuffin.

Are you going to go outside looking like a ragamuffin?

I can only describe his appearance as that of a ragamuffin.


Urchin, Vagrant


Affluent, Well-Off


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