or rip-off

[rip-awf, -of]

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. rip into,
  2. rip off,
  3. rip on,
  4. rip up,
  5. rip van winkle,
  6. rip-rap,
  7. rip-roaring,
  8. rip-saw,
  9. rip-tide,
  10. riparian

Origin of ripoff

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



verb (used with object), ripped, rip·ping.

to cut or tear apart in a rough or vigorous manner: to rip open a seam; to rip up a sheet.
to cut or tear away in a rough or vigorous manner: to rip bark from a tree.
to saw (wood) in the direction of the grain.
Digital Technology. to copy (audio or video files from a CD, DVD, or website) to a hard drive or mobile device, typically by extracting the raw data and changing the file format in the process: Can you rip this CD for me?Compare burn1(def 29).See also DAE

verb (used without object), ripped, rip·ping.

to become torn apart or split open: Cheap cloth rips easily.
Informal. to move with violence or great speed: The sports car ripped along in a cloud of dust and exhaust fumes.


a rent made by ripping; tear.
Slang. a cheat, swindle, or theft; ripoff: The average consumer doesn't realize that the new tax is a rip.

Verb Phrases

rip into, Informal. to attack physically or verbally; assail.
rip off, Slang.
  1. to steal or pilfer.
  2. to rob or steal from.
  3. to swindle, cheat, or exploit; take advantage of: phony charity appeals that rip off a gullible public.
rip out, Informal. to utter angrily, as with an oath or exclamation.

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

Examples from the Web for rip-off

British Dictionary definitions for rip-off


abbreviation for

requiescat or requiescant in pace

Word Origin for RIP

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



verb rips, ripping or ripped

to tear or be torn violently or roughly; split or be rent
(tr ; foll by off or out) to remove hastily, carelessly, or roughlythey ripped out all the old kitchen units
(intr) informal to move violently or precipitously; rush headlong
(intr foll by into) informal to pour violent abuse (on); make a verbal attack (on)
(tr) to saw or split (wood) in the direction of the grain
(tr) informal computing to copy (music or software) without permission or making any payment
let rip to act or speak without restraint


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




Word Origin for rip

C18: perhaps from rip 1



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



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


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.