rattletrap Look up rattletrap at Dictionary.com
1766, originally a noun, "knick-knacks, trifles, odds and ends," from rattle (adj.) + trap, perhaps in the sense in traps (n.2). Hence, "a shabby, rattling object," especially a rickety coach or other vehicle (1822). The adjectival sense of "rickety" is recorded from 1834.
ratty (adj.) Look up ratty at Dictionary.com
1856, "resembling a rat;" 1865, "full of rats;" 1867, "wretched, miserable, shabby," from rat (n.) + -y (2).
raucous (adj.) Look up raucous at Dictionary.com
1769, from Latin raucus "hoarse" (also source of French rauque, Spanish ronco, Italian rauco), related to ravus "hoarse," from PIE echoic base *reu- "make hoarse cries" (cognates: Sanskrit rayati "barks," ravati "roars;" Greek oryesthai "to howl, roar;" Latin racco "a roar;" Old Church Slavonic rjevo "I roar;" Lithuanian rekti "roar;" Old English rarian "to wail, bellow"). Middle English had rauc in the same sense, from the same source.
raunch (n.) Look up raunch at Dictionary.com
1963 (in "Billboard," describing lead guitar on surf music tracks), back-formation from raunchy. There was a singing group in U.S. c.1960 called the Raunch Hands.
raunchy (adj.) Look up raunchy at Dictionary.com
1939, "clumsy, careless, sloppy," U.S. Army Air Corps slang, of unknown origin. Origins among cadets in Texas suggest possible connection to Mexican Spanish rancho (see ranch (n.)), which had connotations of animal filth by 1864. Sense of "coarse, vulgar, smutty" is from 1967. Related: Raunchiness.
ravage (v.) Look up ravage at Dictionary.com
1610s, from French ravager "lay waste, devastate," from Old French ravage "destruction," especially by flood (14c.), from ravir "to take away hastily" (see ravish). Related: Ravaged; ravaging.
ravage (n.) Look up ravage at Dictionary.com
1610s, from French ravage "destruction" (see ravage (v.)). Related: Ravages.
rave (v.) Look up rave at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "to show signs of madness or delirium," from Old French raver, variant of resver "to dream; wander here and there, prowl; behave madly, be crazy," of unknown origin (compare reverie). The identical (in form) verb meaning "to wander, stray, rove" first appeared c.1300 in Scottish and northern dialect, and is probably from an unrelated Scandinavian word (such as Icelandic rafa). Sense of "talk enthusiastically about" first recorded 1704. Related: Raved; raving.
rave (n.) Look up rave at Dictionary.com
"act of raving," 1590s, from rave (v.). Meaning "temporary popular enthusiasm" is from 1902; that of "highly flattering review" is from 1926. Sense of "rowdy party" is from 1960; rave-up was British slang for "wild party" from 1940; specific modern sense of "mass party with loud, fast electronic music and often psychedelic drugs" is from 1989.
ravel (v.) Look up ravel at Dictionary.com
1580s, "to untangle, disentangle, unwind" (originally with out), also "to entangle, become tangled or confused," from Dutch ravelen "to tangle, fray," rafelen "to unweave," from rafel "frayed thread." The seemingly contradictory senses of this word (ravel and unravel are both synonyms and antonyms) are reconciled by its roots in weaving and sewing: as threads become unwoven, they get tangled.
ravel (n.) Look up ravel at Dictionary.com
1630s, "a tangle;" 1832, "a broken thread," from ravel (v.).
raven (n.) Look up raven at Dictionary.com
Old English hræfn (Mercian), hrefn; hræfn (Northumbrian, West Saxon), from Proto-Germanic *khrabanas (cognates: Old Norse hrafn, Danish ravn, Dutch raaf, Old High German hraban, German Rabe "raven," Old English hroc "rook"), from PIE root *ker- (2), imitative of harsh sounds (cognates: Latin crepare "to creak, clatter," cornix "crow," corvus "raven;" Greek korax "raven," korone "crow;" Old Church Slavonic kruku "raven;" Lithuanian krauklys "crow").
Raven mythology shows considerable homogeneity throughout the whole area [northern regions of the northern hemisphere] in spite of differences in detail. The Raven peeps forth from the mists of time and the thickets of mythology, as a bird of slaughter, a storm bird, a sun and fire bird, a messenger, an oracular figure and a craftsman or culture hero. [Edward A. Armstrong, "The Folklore of Birds," 1958]
Old English also used hræmn, hremm. The raven standard was the flag of the Danish Vikings. The Quran connects the raven with Cain's murder of Abel; but in Christianity the bird plays a positive role in the stories of St. Benedict, St. Paul the Hermit, St. Vincent, etc. It was anciently believed to live to great old age, but the ancients also believed it wanting in parental care. The vikings, like Noah, were said to have used the raven to discover land. "When uncertain of their course they let one loose, and steered the vessel in his track, deeming that the land lay in the direction of his flight; if he returned to the ship, it was supposed to be at a distance" [Charles Swainson, "The Folk Lore and Provincial Names of British Birds," London, 1886].
ravening (adj.) Look up ravening at Dictionary.com
"voracious," 1520s, present participle adjective from an extinct verb raven "to prey, to plunder, devour greedily" (late 14c., implied in ravener), from Old French raviner (see ravenous). It is not etymologically related to raven (n.).
ravenous (adj.) Look up ravenous at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "obsessed with plundering, extremely greedy," from Old French ravinos, of people, "rapacious, violent," of water, "swift-flowing," from raviner "to seize," from ravine "violent rush, robbery" (see ravine). Meaning "voracious, very hungry" is from early 15c. Related: Ravenously; ravenousness.
raver (n.) Look up raver at Dictionary.com
c.1400, "madman," agent noun from rave (v.). Meaning "attendee at a mass party" is from 1991. In Old French, the noun resveor meant "vagabond, night-prowler."
ravine (n.) Look up ravine at Dictionary.com
1760, "deep gorge," from French ravin "a gully" (1680s, from Old French raviner "to pillage, sweep down, cascade"), and from French ravine "violent rush of water, gully worn by a torrent," from Old French ravine "violent rush of water, waterfall; avalanche; robbery, rapine," both ultimately from Latin rapina "act of robbery, plundering" (see rapine); sense influenced by Latin rapidus "rapid." Middle English ravine meant "booty, plunder, robbery" from c.1350-1500. Compare ravening.
raving (adj.) Look up raving at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "delirious, frenzied," present participle adjective from rave (v.); sense of "remarkable, fit to excite admiration" is from 1841, hence slang superlative use.
ravioli (n.) Look up ravioli at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Middle English raffyolys, also rafyols (late 14c.). The word probably was re-borrowed several times, most recently in 1841, from Italian ravioli, a dialectal plural of raviolo, a diminutive of an unidentified noun, perhaps of rava "turnip."
ravish (v.) Look up ravish at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "to seize (someone) by violence, carry (a person, especially a woman) away," from Old French raviss-, present participle stem of ravir "to seize, take away hastily," from Vulgar Latin *rapire, from Latin rapere "to seize and carry off, carry away suddenly, hurry away" (see rapid). Meaning "to commit rape upon" is recorded from mid-15c. Related: Ravished; ravishing.
ravishing (n.) Look up ravishing at Dictionary.com
"act of plundering," c.1300, verbal noun from ravish (v.).
ravishing (adj.) Look up ravishing at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "ravenous;" early 15c., "enchanting;" present participle adjective from ravish (v.). The figurative notion is of "carrying off from earth to heaven." Related: Ravishingly.
ravishment (n.) Look up ravishment at Dictionary.com
1530s, from Middle French ravissement (14c.), from ravir (see ravish).
raw (adj.) Look up raw at Dictionary.com
Old English hreaw "uncooked, raw," from Proto-Germanic *khrawaz (cognates: Old Norse hrar, Danish raa, Old Saxon hra, Middle Dutch rau, Dutch rauw, Old High German hrawer, German roh), from PIE root *kreue- (1) "raw flesh" (cognates: Sanskrit kravih "raw flesh," krura- "bloody, raw, hard;" Greek kreas "flesh;" Latin crudus "not cooked," cruor "thick blood;" Old Irish cru, Lithuanian kraujas, Old Church Slavonic kruvi "blood;" Old English hrot "thick fluid, serum").

Meaning "tender, sore" is from late 14c.; of persons, "inexperienced" from 1560s; of weather, "damp and chilly" first recorded 1540s. Related: Rawly; rawness. Raw material is from 1796, with sense of "in a rudimental condition, unfinished." Phrase in the raw "naked" (1921) is from the raw "exposed flesh," attested from 1823. Raw deal "harsh treatment" attested by 1893.
raw-boned (adj.) Look up raw-boned at Dictionary.com
"having little flesh on the bones, gaunt," from raw (adj.) + bone (n.).
raw-head (n.) Look up raw-head at Dictionary.com
name of a nursery specter or "scare-child," usually coupled with bloody-bones, early 16c., from raw (adj.) + head (n.).
rawhide (n.) Look up rawhide at Dictionary.com
"material cut from untanned skins of cattle," 1650s, from raw (adj.) + hide (n.1).
ray (n.1) Look up ray at Dictionary.com
"beam of light," c.1300, from Old French rai (nominative rais) "ray (of the sun), spoke (of a wheel); gush, spurt," from Latin radius "ray, spoke, staff, rod" (see radius). Not common before 17c. [OED]; of the sun, usually in reference to heat (beam being preferred for light). Science fiction ray-gun is first recorded 1931 (but the Martians had a Heat ray weapon in H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds," 1898).
ray (n.2) Look up ray at Dictionary.com
type of fish related to sharks, early 14c., from French raie (13c.), from Latin raia, of unknown origin.
Raymond Look up Raymond at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, from Old French Raimund, from Frankish *Raginmund "counsel-protection" or "might-protection," from ragin "counsel, might" + mund "hand, protection" (cognate with Old High German munt, Old English mund, second element in Edmund, Sigismund, etc.), from PIE *man- "hand" (see manual (adj.)).
rayon (n.) Look up rayon at Dictionary.com
1924, chosen by National Retail Dry Goods Association of America, probably from French rayon "beam of light, ray," from rai (see ray (n.1)), which also was used in Middle English as a name for a type of cloth. So called because it is shiny. A more marketable alternative than the original patented name, artificial silk (1884), or the intervening attempt, Glos, which was "killed by ridicule" ["Draper's Record," June 14, 1924].
Raza (n.) Look up Raza at Dictionary.com
in La Raza, literally "the race," 1964, from American Spanish (see race (n.2)), "designating the strong sense of racial and cultural identity held by Mexican-Americans" [OED].
raze (v.) Look up raze at Dictionary.com
1540s, alteration of racen "pull or knock down" (a building or town), from earlier rasen (14c.) "to scratch, slash, scrape, erase," from Old French raser "to scrape, shave" (see rase). Related: Razed; razing.
razor (n.) Look up razor at Dictionary.com
late 13c., from Old French raseor "a razor" (12c.), from raser "to scrape, shave" (see rase). Razor clam (1835, American English) so called because its shell resembles an old folding straight-razor. Razor-edge figurative of sharpness or a fine surface from 1680s.
razorback (n.) Look up razorback at Dictionary.com
type of pig with a sharp ridge-like back, 1849, from razor (n.) + back (n.). Especially of feral hogs in the U.S. South. Also used of narrow ridges of land.
razz (v.) Look up razz at Dictionary.com
"to hiss or deride," 1920, shortened and altered variant of raspberry (q.v.) in its rhyming slang sense. Related: Razzed; razzing. As a noun, in to give the razz, from 1919.
razzle-dazzle (n.) Look up razzle-dazzle at Dictionary.com
1886, American English slang, varied reduplication of dazzle (q.v.).
My confrère, The Chevalier, last month gave a new name to the scarfs of disjointed pattern when he called them the razzle-dazzle. The name was evidently a hit of the most patent character, for in several avenue and Broadway stores the clerks have thrown out a display of broken figures before me and explained that the ruling style at present was the razzle-dazzle, and the word seems to have been equally effective with the public, for when it is quoted by the live salesman, the customer, I am told is at once interested and caught by it. ["Clothier and Furnisher" magazine, Jan. 1889]
Meaning "state of confusion" is from 1889.
razzmatazz (n.) Look up razzmatazz at Dictionary.com
1894, perhaps a varied reduplication of jazz (n.). The word had early associations with that kind of music (later especially in contrast to swing).
RBI (n.) Look up RBI at Dictionary.com
also R.B.I., in baseball, 1947, short for run batted in.
RCA (n.) Look up RCA at Dictionary.com
1922, initialism (acronym) of Radio Corporation of America.
re Look up re at Dictionary.com
"with reference to," used from c.1700 in legalese, from Latin (in) re "in the matter of," from ablative case of res "matter, thing." Its use is execrated by Fowler in three different sections of "Modern English Usage."
re- Look up re- at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "back to the original place; again, anew, once more," also with a sense of "undoing," c.1200, from Old French and directly from Latin re- "again, back, anew, against," "Latin combining form concievably from Indo-European *wret-, metathetical variant of *wert- "to turn" [Watkins]. Often merely intensive, and in many of the older borrowings from French and Latin the precise sense of re- is lost in secondary senses or weakened beyond recognition. OED writes that it is "impossible to attempt a complete record of all the forms resulting from its use," and adds that "The number of these is practically infinite ...." The Latin prefix became red- before vowels and h-, as in redact, redeem, redolent, redundant.
re-absorb (v.) Look up re-absorb at Dictionary.com
also reabsorb, 1761, from re- + absorb. Related: Reabsorbed; reabsorbing.
re-absorption (n.) Look up re-absorption at Dictionary.com
also reabsorption, 1718, from re- + absorption.
re-accustom (v.) Look up re-accustom at Dictionary.com
also reaccustom, 1610s, from re- + accustom. Related: Reaccustomed; reaccustoming.
re-acquaint (v.) Look up re-acquaint at Dictionary.com
also reacquaint, 1640s, from re- + acquaint. Related: Reacquainted; reacquainting.
re-acquisition (n.) Look up re-acquisition at Dictionary.com
also reacquisition, 1796, from re- + acquisition.
re-adjust (v.) Look up re-adjust at Dictionary.com
also readjust, 1742, from re- "back, again" + adjust. Related: Readjusted; readjusting.
re-admission (n.) Look up re-admission at Dictionary.com
also readmission, 1650s; see re- + admission.
re-admit (v.) Look up re-admit at Dictionary.com
also readmit, 1610s, from re- "back, again" + admit. Related: Readmitted; readmitting.
re-affirm (v.) Look up re-affirm at Dictionary.com
also reaffirm, 1610s, "to confirm anew," from re- "back, again" + affirm. Meaning "to assert anew" is recorded from 1842. Related: Reaffirmed; reaffirming.