Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To make wet and dirty by dragging on the ground.
  • intransitive v. To become wet and muddy by being dragged.
  • intransitive v. To follow slowly; straggle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to make, or to become, wet and muddy by dragging along the ground

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To wet and soil by dragging on the ground, mud, or wet grass; to drabble; to trail.
  • intransitive v. To be dragged on the ground; to become wet or dirty by being dragged or trailed in the mud or wet grass.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To drag or draw along on damp ground or mud, or on wet grass; drabble.
  • To wet or befoul, as by dragging the garments through dew, mud, or dirt.
  • To be drawn along the ground so as to become wet or dirty.

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

  • v. make wet and dirty, as from rain

Etymologies

Probably frequentative of drag.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Some few who had no music in their souls, or no money in their pockets, dawdled about; and the old spectacle of the visitor – wife and the depressed unseasoned prisoner still lingered in corners, as broken cobwebs and such unsightly discomforts draggle in corners of other places.

    Little Dorrit

  • Add to this a dirty, draggle-tailed chintz; long, matted hair, wandering into her eyes, and over her lean shoulders, which were once so snowy, and you have the picture of drunkenness and Mrs. Simon Gambouge.

    The Paris Sketch Book

  • People go by, so drenched and draggle-tailed that I have often wondered how they found the heart to undress.

    Edinburgh Picturesque Notes

  • The preacher, instead of vexing the ears of drowsy farmers on their day of rest at the end of the week — for Sunday is the fit conclusion of an ill-spent week, and not the fresh and brave beginning of a new one — with this one other draggle-tail of a sermon, should shout with thundering voice,

    Walden

  • So, also, on being asked by a poor writer what was the most profitable mode of exercising the pen, “My dear fellow,” replied he, good-humoredly, “pay no regard to the draggle-tailed muses; for my part I have found productions in prose much more sought after and better paid for.”

    The Life of Oliver Goldsmith

  • Indeed it is beneath them to meddle with such dirty draggle-tails; and whatever happens to them, it is good enough for them.

    The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling

  • And then there is the feeling that that kind of semi-poverty, which has in itself something of the pleasantness of independence, when it is borne by a man alone, entails the miseries of a draggle-tailed and querulous existence when it is imposed on a woman who has in her own home enjoyed the comforts of affluence.

    He Knew He Was Right

  • Women with brown faces and draggle-tailed coats and turbans, and wondering eyes, and no stays, and blue beads and gold coins hanging round their necks, came to gaze, as they passed, upon the fair neat

    Notes of a Journey From Cornhill to Grand Cairo

  • The Angel of Light generally appeared in form� pauperis, though there was always about him a tinge of bright azure which was hardly compatible with the draggle-tailed hue of everyday poverty.

    Ayala's Angel

  • When he'd parked his car, the ubiquitous draggle of kids had asked for money to look after it.

    Fleshmarket Close

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.