raunchy (adj.)
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.)
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.)
1610s, from French ravage "destruction" (see ravage (v.)). Related: Ravages.
rave (v.)
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.)
"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.)
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.)
1630s, "a tangle;" 1832, "a broken thread," from ravel (v.).
raven (n.)
Old English hræfn (Mercian), hrefn; hræfn (Northumbrian, West Saxon), from Proto-Germanic *khrabanaz (source also of 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 (source also of 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.)
"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.)
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.)
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.)
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.)
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.)
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.)
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.)
"act of plundering," c. 1300, verbal noun from ravish (v.).
ravishing (adj.)
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.)
1530s, from Middle French ravissement (14c.), from ravir (see ravish).
raw (adj.)
Old English hreaw "uncooked, raw," from Proto-Germanic *khrawaz (source also of 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" (source also of 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.)
"having little flesh on the bones, gaunt," from raw (adj.) + bone (n.).
raw-head (n.)
also rawhead, name of a nursery specter or "scare-child" (usually coupled with bloody-bones), early 16c., from raw (adj.) + head (n.).
rawhide (n.)
also raw-hide, "material cut from untanned skins of cattle," 1650s, from raw (adj.) + hide (n.1).
ray (n.1)
"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)
type of fish related to sharks, early 14c., from French raie (13c.), from Latin raia, a word of unknown origin, but with apparent cognates in Germanic (Middle Dutch rogghe, Old English reohhe); perhaps a loan-word from a substrate language.
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 root *man- (2) "hand."
rayon (n.)
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.)
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.)
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," from Medieval Latin rasare, frequentative of Latin radere (past participle rasus) "to scrape, shave," possibly from an extended form of PIE root *red- "to scrape, scratch, gnaw." Related: Razed; razing.
razor (n.)
late 13c., from Old French raseor "a razor" (12c.), from raser "to scrape, shave," from Medieval Latin rasare, frequentative of Latin radere (past participle rasus) "to scrape, shave," possibly from an extended form of PIE root *red- "to scrape, scratch, gnaw." 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.)
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.)
"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.)
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.)
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.)
also R.B.I., in baseball, 1947, short for run batted in.
RCA (n.)
1922, initialism (acronym) of Radio Corporation of America.
"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."
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 conceivably 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.)
also reabsorb, 1761, from re- + absorb. Related: Reabsorbed; reabsorbing.
re-absorption (n.)
also reabsorption, 1718, from re- + absorption.
re-accustom (v.)
also reaccustom, 1610s, from re- + accustom. Related: Reaccustomed; reaccustoming.
re-acquaint (v.)
also reacquaint, 1640s, from re- + acquaint. Related: Reacquainted; reacquainting.
re-acquisition (n.)
also reacquisition, 1796, from re- + acquisition.
re-adjust (v.)
also readjust, 1742, from re- "back, again" + adjust. Related: Readjusted; readjusting.
re-admission (n.)
also readmission, 1650s; see re- + admission.
re-admit (v.)
also readmit, 1610s, from re- "back, again" + admit. Related: Readmitted; readmitting.
re-affirm (v.)
also reaffirm, 1610s, "to confirm anew," from re- "back, again" + affirm. Meaning "to assert anew" is recorded from 1842. Related: Reaffirmed; reaffirming.
re-affirmation (n.)
also reaffirmation, 1845, noun of action from re-affirm.
re-aggravate (v.)
also reaggravate, 1610s, from re- + aggravate. Related: Reaggravated; reaggravating.
re-align (v.)
also realign, 1876 in reference to railroad tracks; 1923, in reference to European international relations, from re- "back, again" + align. Related: Realigned; realigning.
re-alignment (n.)
also realignment, 1850, from re- + alignment.