mildly or sometimes engagingly disreputable or nonconformist; rakish: a matinee idol whose raffish offstage behavior amused millions.
gaudily vulgar or cheap; tawdry.

Origin of raffish

First recorded in 1795–1805; raff + -ish1
Related formsraff·ish·ly, adverbraff·ish·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for raffish

Contemporary Examples of raffish

  • Visiting him in his room at the raffish Chelsea Hotel, I noticed that there was a crumpled cigarette package under the bed.

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    A Writer's Secret Life

    Susan Cheever

    October 8, 2008

Historical Examples of raffish

British Dictionary definitions for raffish



careless or unconventional in dress, manners, etc; rakish
tawdry; flashy; vulgar
Derived Formsraffishly, adverbraffishness, noun

Word Origin for raffish

C19: see raff
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for raffish

"disreputable, vulgar," 1801 (first attested in Jane Austen), from raff "people," usually of a lower sort (1670s), probably from rif and raf (mid-14c.) "everyone," from Middle English raf, raffe "one and all, everybody" (see riffraff). Related: Raffishly; raffishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper