from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Cheaply or showily vulgar in appearance or nature; tawdry.
  • adjective Characterized by a carefree or fun-loving unconventionality; rakish.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Resembling or having the character of the raff or rabble; scampish; worthless; rowdy. Compare raff, n., 5.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Resembling, or having the character of, raff, or a raff; worthless; low.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Characterized by careless unconventionality; rakish.
  • adjective Low-class; disreputable; vulgar.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective marked by a carefree unconventionality or disreputableness
  • adjective marked by up-to-dateness in dress and manners


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Probably from dialectal raff, rubbish, from Middle English raf, perhaps of Scandinavian origin.]


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  • There’s a lot of good info here, though I did want to let you know something – I am running Ubuntu with the up-to-date beta of FireFox, and the design of your site is kind of raffish for me.

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  • I suggested "The King's Speech," and, not wanting to spoil it with too many details, gave a shorthand description: Colin Firth as King George VI, who has a terrible stutter, and Geoffrey Rush as a raffish Australian speech therapist.

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  • He extinguishes his cigarette, buttons up his raffish crushed velvet overcoat and volleys wide from eight or nine yards.

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  • In the 18 months since his diagnosis with oesophageal cancer, Christopher lost his beautiful voice, his raffish air, his optimism and swagger.

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  • The past few years have seen Daniel Sinsel discard hia dark enchantment with male porn stars: black-eyed young men who gazed from his canvases like raffish Pans with a taste for S&M.

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  • A mustachioed man in a pullover meets a wavy-haired blonde to produce a figure with an oddly raffish cavalier look; a middle-aged woman with a complex hairdo acquires the aquiline nose of the actor she obscures.

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  • Others might regard him as a conscienceless, borderline psychopath, and the riveting central performance by Rhys Ifans, who plays Marks as a charming, raffish boyo from the Welsh valleys, doesn't wholly preclude such an interpretation.

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  • Something of the devotion of the parents is clearly visible here, as well as the almost raffish informality of the Australian golden boy and heir to Kilmany Park and Craigellachie.

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  • As a child swot, though, I felt a responsibility to my family to enter a "respectable" profession I dutifully studied law but found journalism's raffish camaraderie more accommodating.

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  • Finally there is raffish Uncle Roy of the 13th Hussars, with his moustaches, bow tie, and pumps, looking somehow prematurely older than he should.

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