Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A shabbily clothed, dirty child.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A paltry or disreputable fellow; a mean wretch.
  • noun colloq. A person who wears ragged clothing.
  • noun (Zoöl.), Prov. Eng. The long-tailed titmouse.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • noun a dirty shabbily clothed urchin

Etymologies

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

[Middle English Ragamuffyn, a personal name : probably raggi, ragged (from ragge, rag; see rag) + Middle Dutch moffel, muffe, mitten; see muff.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

Examples

Comments

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  • An aspiring rudeboy.

    July 30, 2008

  • "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

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

    October 17, 2011