I have just started reading Great Expectations. I want to improve my English, and since I'm not a native speaker, I have difficulty understanding what "raw" means in the following piece of text:

My first most vivid and broad impression of the identity of things seems to me to have been gained on a memorable raw afternoon towards evening.

Please explain what "raw" means in this quote.

1 Answer 1


In the context of this sentence, "raw" refers to the weather. The following definition from Wiktionary applies here:

Unpleasantly cold or damp.

So Pip is saying that the weather that evening was unpleasantly cold or damp. (Later in the same chapter, the escaped convict is described as "glancing about him over the cold wet flat". The ground appears to be soaked with water, probably for the same reason that the weather is damp.)

  • 1
    Note this is a pretty uncommon modern definition for the word--people would probably understand you from context clues if you said "the weather is raw" but likely not if you just said "it was a raw day."
    – Kitkat
    Dec 4, 2020 at 14:06
  • 1
    @Kitkat I agree, but the question submitted here is a meaning question, not a question asking for advice on usage :-)
    – Tsundoku
    Dec 4, 2020 at 16:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.