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 (tăt′ər-dĭ-māl′yən, -mā′lē-ən)
A person wearing ragged or tattered clothing; a ragamuffin.
Ragged; tattered.

[Probably tattered + -demalion, of unknown meaning.]


(ˌtætədɪˈmeɪljən; -ˈmæl-) or


a. a person dressed in ragged clothes
b. (as modifier): a tatterdemalion dress.
[C17: from tatter + -demalion, of uncertain origin]


(ˌtæt ər dɪˈmeɪl yən, -ˈmæl-)

1. a person in tattered clothing; shabby person.
2. ragged.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.tatterdemalion - a dirty shabbily clothed urchintatterdemalion - a dirty shabbily clothed urchin  
urchin - poor and often mischievous city child
Adj.1.tatterdemalion - worn to shreds; or wearing torn or ragged clothing; "a man in a tattered shirt"; "the tattered flag"; "tied up in tattered brown paper"; "a tattered barefoot boy"; "a tatterdemalion prince"
worn - affected by wear; damaged by long use; "worn threads on the screw"; "a worn suit"; "the worn pockets on the jacket"
2.tatterdemalion - in deplorable conditiontatterdemalion - in deplorable condition; "a street of bedraggled tenements"; "a broken-down fence"; "a ramshackle old pier"; "a tumble-down shack"
damaged - harmed or injured or spoiled; "I won't buy damaged goods"; "the storm left a wake of badly damaged buildings"


A person wearing ragged or tattered clothing:
Torn into or marked by shreds or tatters:
References in classic literature ?
Because they could not understand him all these people assumed that it was useless to talk to the old man; that he would never grasp the profundity of their plans, that he would answer with his phrases (which they thought were mere phrases) about a "golden bridge," about the impossibility of crossing the frontier with a crowd of tatterdemalions, and so forth.
There were thirty thousand of us tatterdemalions against eighty thousand swaggerers of Germans--fine tall men and well equipped; I can see them yet.
A TRULY Pious Person who conducted a savings bank and lent money to his sisters and his cousins and his aunts of both sexes, was approached by a Tatterdemalion, who applied for a loan of one hundred thousand dollars.
Here, according to his own account, his cavalcade might have been taken for a procession of tatterdemalion savages; for the men were ragged almost to nakedness, and had contracted a wildness of aspect during three years of wandering in the wilderness.
So in truth it was a tatterdemalion crew that limped and straggled and wandered back into Barnesdale that day.