[ raf-ish ]
/ ˈræf ɪʃ /


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

Nearby words

  1. rafferty rules,
  2. raffia,
  3. raffia palm,
  4. raffinate,
  5. raffinose,
  6. raffishly,
  7. raffle,
  8. raffles,
  9. rafflesia,
  10. rafinesque

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

British Dictionary definitions for raffish


/ (ˈræfɪʃ) /


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