[ rif-raf ]
See synonyms for riffraff on Thesaurus.com
  1. people, or a group of people, regarded as disreputable or worthless: a pack of riffraff.

  2. the lowest classes; rabble: the riffraff of the city.

  1. trash; rubbish.

  1. worthless, disreputable, or trashy.

Origin of riffraff

1425–75; late Middle English rif and raf every particle, things of small value <Old French rif et raf, formed on rifler to spoil (see rifle2), raffler to ravage, snatch away

Words Nearby riffraff

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use riffraff in a sentence

  • Ample proof, however, exists that they were but the riffraff of the Order.

  • From my window where I am writing I can see how insolent the attitude of this Mohammedan riffraff is becoming.

    The Dark Star | Robert W. Chambers

British Dictionary definitions for riffraff


/ (ˈrɪfˌræf) /

noun(sometimes functioning as plural)
  1. worthless people, esp collectively; rabble

  2. dialect worthless rubbish

Origin of riffraff

C15 rif and raf, from Old French rif et raf; related to rifler to plunder, and rafle a sweeping up; see rifle ², raffle

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