Dictionary: RAG-A-MUF'FIN – RAIL

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RAG-A-MUF'FIN, n. [Qu. rag and Sp. mofar, to mock, or It. muffo, musty.]

A paltry fellow; a mean wretch. – Swift.


An iron pin with barbs on its shank to retain it in its place. – Mar. Dict.

RAGE, n. [Fr. rage, whence enrager, to enrage; Corn. arraich; Arm. arragi, arragein, to enrage. This belongs to the family of Rg, to break or burst forth. See Rag. Perhaps Heb. Ch. and Syr. חרק, to grind or gnash the teeth; in Ar. to burn, to break, to muck, to grind the teeth, to be angry. The radical sense of burn is in many cases to rage or be violent. Class Rg, No. 34.]

  1. Violent anger accompanied with furious words, gestures or agitation; anger excited to fury. Passion sometimes rises to rage. Torment and loud lament and furious rage. – Milton.
  2. Vehemence or violent exacerbation of any thing painful; as, the rage of pain; the rage of a fever; the rage of hunger or thirst. – Pope.
  3. Fury; extreme violence; as, the rage of a tempest.
  4. Enthusiasm; rapture. Who brought green poesy to her perfect age, / And made that art which was a rage. – Cowley.
  5. Extreme eagerness or passion directed to some object; as, the rage for money. You purchase pain with all that joy can give, / And die of nothing but a rage to live. – Pope.

RAGE, v.i.

  1. To be furious with anger; to be exasperated to fury; to be violently agitated with passion. At this he inly rag'd. – Milton.
  2. To be violent and tumultuous. Why do the heathen rage? – Ps. ii.
  3. To be violently driven or agitated; as, the raging sea or winds.
  4. To ravage; to prevail without restraint, or with fatal effect; as, the plague rages in Cairo.
  5. To be driven with impetuosity; to act or move furiously. The chariots shall rage in the streets. – Nah. ii. The madding wheels of brazen chariots rag'd. – Milton.
  6. To toy wantonly; to sport. [Not in use.] – Gower.


Full of rage; violent; furious. – Sidney. Hammond.

RA'GER-Y, n.

Wantonness. [Not used.] – Chaucer.

RAGG, n.

Rowley ragg, a species of silicious stone, of a dusky or dark gray color, with shining crystals, of a granular texture, and by exposure to the air acquiring an ochery crust. – Encyc.

RAG'GED, a. [from rag.]

  1. Rent or worn into tatters, or all its texture is broken; as, a ragged coat; a ragged sail. – Arbuthnot.
  2. Broken with rough edges; uneven; as, a ragged rock.
  3. Having the appearance of being broken or torn; jagged; rough with sharp or irregular points. The moon appears, when looked upon through a good glass, rude and ragged. – Burnet.
  4. Wearing tattered clothes; as, a ragged fellow.
  5. Rough; rugged. What shepherd owns those ragged sheep? – Dryden.


  1. The state of being dressed in tattered clothes.
  2. The state of being rough or broken irregularly; as, the raggedness of a cliff.


Fury; violence; impetuosity. – Jonah i.

RAG-ING, ppr. [from rage.]

  1. Acting with violence or fury.
  2. adj. Furious; impetuous; vehemently driven or agitated; as, the raging sea or tempest.

RAG-ING-LY, adv.

With fury; with violent impetuosity. – Hall.


A man who collects or deals in tags, the materials of paper. – Rawlinson.


A roll or register of the value of benefices in Scotland, made by Ragimund, a legate of the Pope, according to which the clergy were afterward taxed by the court of Rome. [See Rigmarole.] – Encyc.

RA-GOO', or RA-GOUT, n. [Fr. ragout; Arm. ragoud.]

A sauce or seasoning for exciting a languid appetite; or a high seasoned dish, prepared with fish, flesh, greens and the like, stewed with salt, pepper, cloves, &c. – Encyc.


A stone of the silicious kind, so named from its rough fracture. It is of a gray color, the texture obscurely laminar or rather fibrous, the lamins consisting of a congeries of grains of a quartzy appearance, coarse and rough. It effervesces with acids, and gives fire with steel. It is used for a whetstone without oil or water, for sharpening coarse cutting tools. – Encyc. Nicholson.

RA-GU'LED, or RAG-GU'LED, a. [In heraldry, cross raguled may be best understood by calling it two ragged staffs in a cross. Bailey. – E. H. B.]


In machinery, a wheel having a notched or serrated margin.


A plant of the genus Senecio.

RAIL, n.1 [G. riegel, rail; bolt or bar; W. rhail.]

  1. A cross beam faxed at the ends in two upright posts. – Moxon. [In New England, this is never called a beam; pieces of timber of the proper size for rails are called scantling.]
  2. In the United States, a piece of timber cleft, hewed or sawed, rough or smooth, inserted in upright posts for fencing. The common rails among farmers, are rough, being used as they are split from the chestnut or other trees. The rails used in fences of boards or pickets round gentlemen's houses and gardens, are usually sawed scantling and often dressed with the plane.
  3. A bar of wood or iron used for inclosing any place; the piece into which balusters are inserted.
  4. A series of posts connected with cross beams, by which a place is inclosed. – Johnson. In New England we never call this series a rail, but by the general term railing. In a picket fence, the pales or pickets rise above the rails; in a balustrade, or fence resembling it, the balusters usually terminate in the rails.
  5. In a ship, a narrow plank nailed for ornament or security on a ship's upper works; also, a curved piece of timber extending from the bows of a ship to the continuation of its stern, to support the knee of the head, &c. – Mar. Dict.

RAIL, n.2

A bird of the genus Rallus, consisting of many species. The water-rail has a long slender body with short concave wings. The birds of this genus inhabit the slimy margins of rivers and ponds covered with marsh plants. – Encyc.

RAIL, n.3 [Sax. hrægle, rægle, from wrigan, to put on or cover, to rig.]

A woman's upper garment; retained in the word nightrail, but not used in the United States.

RAIL, n.4

In architecture, the horizontal part in any piece of framing or paneling.

RAIL, v.i. [D. rallen, to jabber; Sp. ralla, to grate, to molest; Port. ralhar, to swagger, to hector, to huff, to scold. This corresponds nearly with the G. prahlen, which may be the same word with a prefix, Eng. to brawl, Fr. brailler; Sw. ralla, to prate; Fr. railler, to rally. In Dan. driller signifies to drill and to banter.]

To utter reproaches; to scoff; to use insolent and reproachful language; to reproach or censure in opprobrious terms; followed by at or against, formerly by on. – Shak. And rail at arts he did not understand. – Dryden. Lesbia forever on the rails. – Swift.

RAIL, v.t.

  1. To inclose with rails. – Carew. Spectator.
  2. To range in a line. – Bacon.