rag doll

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rag doll

1. noun Literally, a doll made of, and typically stuffed with, cloth. Originally made with scraps as an inexpensive way of making a toy for a child. Because of its floppy limbs, it is often used in similes to describe someone flailing or being thrown around in a violent, overpowering manner. It isn't much to look at, but this rag doll that my grandmother made me while we were at our poorest is one of my most treasured possessions. The dog got ahold of the raccoon and shook the poor thing back and forth like a rag doll.
2. noun A weak, incompetent, or irresolute person. Despite his strong promises during his election campaign, the new president has so far been something of a rag doll when it comes to foreign policy. His boyfriend is a bit of a rag doll, isn't he? Just kind of sits there, going along with whatever Tony wants.
3. verb, slang To crumple into a limp, lifeless form. Sometimes hyphenated. After getting hit in the head, he rag dolled and remained totally motionless for almost a minute. The site of the hiker rag-dolling down the side of the steep hill was horrifying.
4. verb, slang To cause someone to crumple into a limp, lifeless form. Sometimes hyphenated. With one mighty punch, the boxer rag-dolled his opponent and was declared the world champion. The linebacker has become infamous for rag dolling other players with his intense tackles.
See also: doll, rag

rag doll

A limp, ineffectual person, as in You won't get a decision from her; she's a rag doll when it comes to making up her mind . This expression transfers the limpness of a soft doll made from scraps of cloth to human behavior. [Mid-1800s]
See also: doll, rag
References in periodicals archive ?
Josephine and Jack Project chief executive Simon James with a few of the charity's life-sized rag dolls
JUTE OF THIS WORLD& Rag dolls are all that are left after judgement day to save the planet
The six-year-old has received DOZENS of toys and gifts since we reported how burglars ransacked her uninsured home in Lea Hall, Birmingham, last week, stealing her stereo and TV - and even her favourite rag doll.
After selling her first company, Albertsen launched RagHeroes, a range of rag dolls for boys which also supports the Forces' Children Trust.
Kai, four, and Jacob, two, loved rag dolls but asked mum Maria, from Whitley Bay, to make them more boyish versions.
Earlier, her kids Maddie, three, AJ, five, and nineyear-old William were carried from the house "like rag dolls".
Here the boldly colored backgrounds and mystical calligraphy surrounding his menagerie of animal-headed people and personified rag dolls in the works seen at the 2000 Whitney Biennial were replaced with muted color fields lightly penciled with patterns suggestive of DNA helices and chemical or mechanical diagrams.
In beat-for-note unison the group turns pedestrian gestures into dance vocabulary: stroking their hair, scratching, flopping to the floor like rag dolls.
From the back street studio in New Jersey where it all began, this vibrant production includes all of The Four Seasons greatest hits, Including Sherry, Rag Dolls, Big Girls Don't Cry, Walk Like A Man and so many more.
Website: www.ragheroes.co.uk www.facebook.com/RagHeroes Imagine you are 'speed networking' ' and sum up your business: Superhero rag dolls for boys, although little girls love them too!
How things changed: (1) twisting the night away at Newcastle's Majestic Ballroom in 1962; (2) Rag Dolls, Pat Redman, 21, from Wolverhampton, left, and Linda Major, 18, from London, listen to the Rag Band rehearse outside Newcastle University Students' Union, for their first performance at the Majestic in the 1966 Rag Week; (3) At a wedding showing more than a hint of early Flower Power, Animals singer Eric Burdon, married model Anglea King at Caxton Hall, London, in 1967; (4) while the next year Animals John Steel, Chas Chandler, Alan Price and Hilton Valentine showed rather different dress sense at Newcastle City Hall; (5) but fashion wasn't just available for star names as this Miss Selfridge range showed.
The door to the room, hidden at the back of a walk-in wardrobe, opens to a narrow stairwell lined with rag dolls.
Iago's brutality toward Emilia set the tone for male partnering in the mass dances: women were manipulated by their heads, supported awkwardly beneath their armpits, and flung like rag dolls. In the finale, Othello succumbed to this societal norm.
One-year-old Oliwier Baczyk and two-year-old Zofia Tabaka were thrown into the air "like rag dolls" after the BMW ripped the pushchairs from their fathers' hands.
Maria, 32, decided to launch a business making superhero rag dolls and entered the Virgin Media Pioneers Pitch to Richard Branson competition.