See more synonyms for toff on
noun British Informal.
  1. a stylishly dressed, fashionable person, especially one who is or wants to be considered a member of the upper class.

Origin of toff

First recorded in 1850–55; perhaps variant of tuft Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for toffs

Contemporary Examples of toffs

  • In other word, he is a toff among toffs—proving, perhaps, that while Cameron may one day go, the toffs might be here to stay.

    The Daily Beast logo
    David Cameron’s Toff Problem

    Mike Giglio

    May 3, 2012

Historical Examples of toffs

  • When you go on your trip for action in the Bois among the toffs, will you take me with you?

    Caught In The Net

    Emile Gaboriau

  • Is this the way you treat the toffs, when they come to see you?

  • You're a toff, that's what you are, and your lines has been laid for toffs.

  • We could see the toffs in evening dress idling in the glow of her electric lights.

    The Sea and the Jungle

    H. M. Tomlinson

  • There's hundreds of toffs in England and Injia'd give their ears for a day after these, you know.

    An Outback Marriage

    Andrew Barton Paterson

British Dictionary definitions for toffs


  1. British slang a rich, well-dressed, or upper-class person, esp a man

Word Origin for toff

C19: perhaps variant of tuft, nickname for a titled student at Oxford University, wearing a cap with a gold tassel
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 toffs



lower-class British slang for "stylish dresser, member of the smart set," 1851, said to be probably an alteration of tuft, formerly an Oxford University term for a nobleman or gentleman-commoner (1755), in reference to the gold ornamental tassel worn on the caps of undergraduates at Oxford and Cambridge whose fathers were peers with votes in the House of Lords.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper