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

  • adj. Wet; limp.
  • adj. Soiled by or as if by having been dragged through mud.
  • adj. Being in a condition of deterioration; dilapidated: a street of bedraggled tenements.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. wet and limp; unkempt
  • adj. decaying, decrepit or dilapidated
  • v. Simple past tense and past participle of bedraggle.

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

  • adj. in deplorable condition
  • adj. limp and soiled as if dragged in the mud


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • If you look up the word bedraggled in the dictionary, there will be an image of my 4 rain soaked scrawny birds, standing on one foot, so close together they look attached.

    Chickens, a Beach Umbrella, and HOT Grits

  • Every time I saw her getting homelier and kind of bedraggled like, I said to myself, well, I've saved Peter from that at any rate.

    The Lovely Lady

  • The Irish News was quick to replace the loss of Susan McKay with the equally impressive columnist, Fionnuala O'Connor, author of 'first article, she examines the possible repercussions of the British Conservative Party's link-up with the' bedraggled 'link of Unionism, Reg Empey's Ulster Unionist Party, under the bizarre UCUNF label.

    Slugger O'Toole

  • I know there are some seniors who are kind of bedraggled and can't picture being vigorous enough to be Prez at 72, but there are an awful lot of seniors who resent the age jokes.

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  • "bedraggled" to make the story more clever and dramatic.

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  • All across America's urban centers, the bedraggled hoi polloi have gathered around the comforting aura of reclaimed wood.

    Steven Nereo: The Silent Crisis

  • It is the cat that was once beautiful and is now like Lear, is bedraggled though majestic.

    James Scarborough: "Cats," Musical Theatre West

  • NEW YORK -- Dominique Strauss-Kahn walked out of a Manhattan courthouse Tuesday free from criminal charges, sweeping with a smile past a crush of cameras and speeding away from a place where he'd been brought, bedraggled and handcuffed, more than three months ago.

    Strauss-Kahn Is Free to Go

  • I loved my look so much I have to admit I slept it and had a very bedraggled look the next day.

    BritChick Paris: Why Everyone and Anyone can be a Model

  • But the insane exploit had a cost: The surviving forces were bedraggled and ill-fed.

    Boardroom Conquerors


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  • Thanks, Pro! It's interesting how some words are only used in certain contexts.

    March 28, 2013

  • Hello to you!

    You are right in that it means "drenched in sweat"; this particular word for "drenched", however, is hardly ever used in any context other than that of exhaustion. That's what I meant - it seems to incorporate both senses of bedraggled in the mind of an Italian reader.

    March 27, 2013

  • Pro! First - Hi! It's been a long time.

    Second: Is that any different from saying "drenched in sweat"?

    Third: I always associate "bedraggled" with being wet, though being in a generally miserable-looking state is essential too. It would sound strange to me to say: "Gene Kelly was cheerfully bedraggled as he celebrated the joys of crooning in precipitation."

    March 27, 2013

  • @Frog: madido di sudore!

    March 27, 2013

  • @Pro. What a tease. You tell us there is a word in Italian that incorporates both exhaustion and sweat, then you don't share it.

    March 27, 2013

  • B S & T (drag(gled) is the operative word.)

    March 27, 2013

  • I like reesetee's "bed-raggled". I can well imagine how an intense twelve-hour sleep could raggle a person, top to bottom.

    March 27, 2013

  • I'll go with something along the lines of "covered in sweat", then. There's an Italian word that incorporates both exhaustion and sweat. (Ew!)


    March 26, 2013

  • Those definitions surprised me. In my mind it's definitely in the exhausted family--but exhausted the way a mouse is when a cat's been playing with it.

    March 26, 2013

  • "Four bedraggled porters came through the door, each one staggering under a huge load. They hauled a collection of trunks and large canvas bags."

    Given that there is no reference to the luggage being wet or soiled anywhere in the chapter, and that these are the porters of a moody and tyrannical woman, am I right in assuming the word is used to mean something like "exhausted/in poor conditions"? Or maybe "covered in sweat"?

    March 26, 2013

  • Ah, SoG, you think like I do. This scares me.

    October 14, 2007

  • Who's to say your previous pronunciation is wrong?

    October 14, 2007

  • Talk about mispronouncing--when I was a kid, I thought this word was BED-raggled. I always wondered what raggling was and how a bed could do it to you.

    October 14, 2007

  • Sounds like it should accompany bewitched, bothered and bewildered.

    October 14, 2007

  • January 4, 2007