When you rasp, you either file wood with a metal tool, or you speak in a harsh, irritating voice. Your rasp-y voice might get you a gig as a lounge singer, but probably not as a preschool teacher.

The tool called a rasp is a special kind of wood file that's much coarser than sandpaper, and when you use it, you rasp. If you've ever cared for a horse's hooves, you may have also used a rasp to file them. The "speak gratingly" meaning of rasp comes from the "scraping" sense of the word. If your voice sounds like a rasp against a rough surface, you're rasping.

Definitions of rasp
  1. verb
    scrape with a rasp
  2. verb
    utter in a grating voice
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    type of:
    mouth, speak, talk, utter, verbalise, verbalize
    express in speech
  3. noun
    a coarse file with sharp pointed projections
    synonyms: wood file
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    type of:
    a steel hand tool with small sharp teeth on some or all of its surfaces; used for smoothing wood or metal
  4. noun
    uttering in an irritated tone
    synonyms: rasping
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    type of:
    utterance, vocalization
    the use of uttered sounds for auditory communication
Word Family

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