or rip-off

[ rip-awf, -of ]
/ ˈrɪpˌɔf, -ˌɒf /

noun Slang.

an act or instance of ripping off another or others; a theft, cheat, or swindle.
exploitation, especially of those who cannot prevent or counter it.
a copy or imitation.
a person who rips off another or others; thief or swindler.

Nearby words

  1. ripidolite,
  2. ripieno,
  3. ripken,
  4. ripley,
  5. ripley, george,
  6. ripon,
  7. riposte,
  8. ripped,
  9. ripper,
  10. ripping

Origin of ripoff

First recorded in 1965–70; noun use of verb phrase rip off

Origin of rip

1470–80; 1960–65 for def 10; obscurely akin to Frisian rippe, dialectal Dutch rippen; compare dialectal English ripple to scratch

1. See tear2. 7. laceration, cut.

Related formsrip·pa·ble, adjectiveun·rip·pa·ble, adjective

Can be confusedburglarize mug rip off rob steal (see synonym study at rob) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for rip off

rip off


(tr) to tear violently or roughly (from)
(adverb) slang to steal from or cheat (someone)

noun rip-off

slang an article or articles stolen
slang a grossly overpriced article
slang the act of stealing or cheating


abbreviation for

requiescat or requiescant in pace

Word Origin for RIP

Latin: may he, she, or they rest in peace


/ (rɪp) /

verb rips, ripping or ripped


the place where something is torn; a tear or split
short for ripsaw
See also rip off, rip on, rip up

Derived Formsrippable, adjective

Word Origin for rip

C15: perhaps from Flemish rippen; compare Middle Dutch rippen to pull


/ (rɪp) /


Word Origin for rip

C18: perhaps from rip 1


/ (rɪp) /

noun informal, archaic

something or someone of little or no value
an old worn-out horse
a dissolute character; reprobate

Word Origin for rip

C18: perhaps altered from rep, shortened from reprobate

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 rip off
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for rip off


[ rĭp ]

A stretch of water in a river, estuary, or tidal channel made rough by waves meeting an opposing current.
A rip current.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with rip off

rip off


Steal, as in They fired him when they caught him ripping off some of the merchandise.


Cheat, defraud, as in These advertising claims have ripped off a great many consumers.


Copy, plagiarize, as in He was sued for ripping off someone else's thesis. All three usages are slang from the second half of the 1900s.


In addition to the idioms beginning with rip

  • ripe old age
  • rip into
  • rip off

also see:

  • let it rip
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.