Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A shabbily clothed, dirty child.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A dirty, shabbily-clothed child; an urchin.
  • n. A breed of domestic cat which is an offshoot from the Ragdoll.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A paltry or disreputable fellow; a mean wretch.
  • n. A person who wears ragged clothing.
  • n. The long-tailed titmouse.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The name of a demon.
  • n. An idle, worthless fellow; a vagabond; now, especially, a disreputably ragged or slovenly person: formerly used as a general term of reprehension.
  • n. A titmouse: same as mufflin.
  • Base; beggarly; ragged or disorderly.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a dirty shabbily clothed urchin

Etymologies

Middle English Ragamuffyn, a personal name : probably raggi, ragged (from ragge, rag; see rag1) + Middle Dutch moffel, muffe, mitten; see muff2.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Middle English Ragamuffyn. According to Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: A muffin is a poor thing of a creature, a 'regular muff'; so that a ragamuffin is a sorry creature in rags. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • But be quick, now, and play up, or I 'll drive that ragamuffin from the church grounds in disgrace and by force!

    The Girl from the Marsh Croft

  • The word ragamuffin, "he adds, with characteristic determination to be exact,

    Hawthorne and His Circle

  • She approached the girl, who Ziman says looked like a "ragamuffin" with dreadlocks and a caked face.

    David Suissa: Two Jewish Mothers

  • Rico, whose real name is Salvatore Aloisi, is a dance-hall "ragamuffin," a reggae-style "toaster" or "chatter," spinning intricate rhymes over bass-heavy rhythms.

    Toasting The 'Hood

  • "The 'ragamuffin' always speaks of his enemies with courtesy, and the filibusters love their leader," was her pointed rejoinder.

    When Valmond Came to Pontiac, Volume 3.

  • Then he is known as the "ragamuffin," on account of his covering of rags.

    La mare au diable. English

  • The word "ragamuffin," which I have used above, does not accurately express the man, because there is a sort of shadow or delusion of respectability about him, and a sobriety too, and a kind of decency in his groggy and red-nosed destitution.

    Passages from the American Notebooks, Volume 2.

  • i like the 'ragamuffin' comment! that's hilarious and i couldn't agree more, the rotation last year was piss poor and good riddance to all of them!!

    Blog updates

  • Now Fort o 'Good Hope is a far journey to the north, over and beyond the Circle, in a place where the feet of few men have trod; and when a nondescript ragamuffin comes in out of the night, from nowhere in particular, to sit by one's fire and discourse on such in terms of "trapsing" and "a little run," it is fair time to rouse up and shake off the dream.

    A RELIC OF THE PLIOCENE

  • The ragamuffin had the ring off her finger and was about to slip it into his own pocket.

    Uprising

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Comments

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  • I've heard ragamuffins are more melodic than fufluns.

    October 17, 2011

  • "I have led my ragamuffins where they are peppered: there's not three of my hundred and fifty left alive, and they are for the town's end, to beg during life."
    Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part I,iv. iii. Line 36

    September 24, 2009

  • An aspiring rudeboy.

    July 30, 2008