- 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
Examples from the Web for raffish
Visiting him in his room at the raffish Chelsea Hotel, I noticed that there was a crumpled cigarette package under the bed.A Writer's Secret Life
October 8, 2008
Raffish and flamboyant, he lounged forward to the window of the carriage.A Daughter of Raasay
William MacLeod Raine
Raffish party too, spy and conspirator persuasion, that sort of thing.Nevermore
And oh the raffish counts and more than doubtful countesses, the noodles and the blacklegs, the good society!
And there are screeching Cockney women, raw and raffish, brutalized children, and men who would survive in the fiercest jungle.Nights in London
You see, he is himself pater familias, with no Bohemian trait or raffish turn.John Leech, His Life and Work, Vol. II (of II)
William Powell Frith
- careless or unconventional in dress, manners, etc; rakish
- tawdry; flashy; vulgar
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.