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.
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