Middle English raue, from Old English hreaw, hreow "uncooked," 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- "raw flesh."
Of skin, "tender, sore, abraded," from late 14c.; of persons, "crude or rude from want of experience, unskilled, youthfully ignorant," from c. 1500; of weather, "damp and sharply chilly" recorded from 1540s. Also used in Middle English of unspun silk, unfulled cloth, untanned hides, etc. Related: Rawly; rawness.
Raw material "unmanufactured material, material for fabrication in its natural state" is from 1796; the notion is of "in a rudimentary condition, in the state of natural growth or formation." Of data, measurements, etc., "not yet processed or adjusted," 1904. In names of colors or pigments, "crude, not brought to perfect finish" (1886). Phrase in the raw "naked" (1921) is from the raw "exposed flesh," which is attested from 1823. Raw deal "harsh treatment" is attested by 1893. Raw bar "bar selling raw oysters" is by 1943.