Something is jagged when it has an uneven edge or quality to it. Teeth can be jagged, saw blades can be jagged, and the edges of leaves can be jagged.

Jagged comes from 16th century English/Scottish and originally referred to a cloth, cut in a way so that the edge is not straight, but that is “toothed.” Imagine a tipsy seamstress trying to cut cloth in a straight line, but her sheers stray this way then that. She’s leaving a jagged edge on the cloth. Or perhaps you have a crush on the seamstress, but she is seen kissing another. Here, she’s leaving a jagged wound on your heart.

Definitions of jagged

adj having a sharply uneven surface or outline

“the jagged outline of the crags”
jaggy, scraggy
not even or uniform as e.g. in shape or texture

adj having an irregularly notched or toothed margin as though gnawed

erose, jaggy, notched, toothed
of the margin of a leaf shape; having the edge cut or fringed or scalloped

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.