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rakish1

[rey-kish]
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adjective
  1. like a rake; dissolute: rakish behavior.
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Origin of rakish1

First recorded in 1700–10; rake2 + -ish1
Related formsrak·ish·ly, adverbrak·ish·ness, noun

rakish2

[rey-kish]
adjective
  1. smart; jaunty; dashing: a hat worn at a rakish angle.
  2. (of a vessel) having an appearance suggesting speed.
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Origin of rakish2

First recorded in 1815–25; rake3 + -ish1

Synonyms

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1. sporting, dapper, debonair, breezy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rakish

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He bowed, rakish and smiling, with all the airs of a dancing master.

    The Pirate of Panama

    William MacLeod Raine

  • He was leaning back in a morris chair, rakish, debonair, and at his ease.

    Brand Blotters

    William MacLeod Raine

  • I do not know what a rakish craft is; but this was very rakish and very crafty.

  • The Imp was narrow and rakish, with a low cockpit and a high bow and stern.

    Canoe Boys and Campfires

    William Murray Graydon

  • After which them two old cut-ups wink at each other rakish and slap their knees.


British Dictionary definitions for rakish

rakish1

adjective
  1. dissolute; profligate
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Derived Formsrakishly, adverbrakishness, noun

Word Origin

C18: from rake ² + -ish

rakish2

adjective
  1. dashing; jauntya hat set at a rakish angle
  2. nautical (of a ship or boat) having lines suggestive of speed
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Word Origin

C19: probably from rake ³ (sense 1), with reference to the sloping masts of pirate ships
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 rakish

adj.

1706, "debauched, disreputable," from rake (n.2) + -ish. Related: Rakishly; rakishness.

The meaning "smart, jaunty, dashing" (1824) is said to be a different word, probably from rake "slant, slope" (1620s), used especially in reference to a ship's hull or sails, of uncertain origin, perhaps from Scandinavian (cf. Old Swedish raka "project, reach;" Danish rage "protrude, project") related to Old English reccan "stretch." "The piratical craft of former times were distinguished for their rakish build" [Century Dictionary].

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper