1. (noun) A person who is dressed in ragged, torn, or shabby clothing. It often refers to someone who appears unkempt, disheveled, or down on their luck.


The once-prosperous businessman, now a tatterdemalion, wandered the streets in his threadbare coat, a shadow of his former self.

Fun Fact

The word “tatterdemalion” has been in use since the 1600s and is thought to be derived from the word “tatter,” meaning a torn piece of cloth, and the name “Malevole,” a character from the 1604 play “The Malcontent” by John Marston, who was known for his ragged appearance.