Definitions

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

  • n. Informal A percentage or share of the profits of an enterprise, especially one given or accepted as a bribe.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A percentage of an amount of money taken by a third-party as a bribe or as part of an unlawful enterprise.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In gambling games, the amount or percentage taken by the house or the banker.
  • n. An amount or percentage of money taken by a party to a contract or enterprise as his share of the spoils; specifically, a share of money illegally taken in a public enterprise.

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

  • n. a percentage (of winnings or loot or profit) taken by an operator or gangster

Etymologies

From the rake used by a croupier in a gambling house.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Much easier, says one old-lady manufacturer to a smart young gigafund manager, for her to make and market her own product, and keep the money just like Mr. Doctorow, than for him to find and fund a hundred products and take a rake-off.

    The Author as Agent of Change

  • Fans of Stinson's work (or those wanting to learn more) may be interested to know that a new Monograph has been published: Charles R. Stinson Architects: Compositions in Nature. (and, no, I'm not getting a rake-off on the proceeds from the book!).

    Homes By Architects Tour Wrap-Up

  • They consider electrical power a great blessing -- but only when the private power companies get their rake-off.

    Who Are These Democrats?

  • You could tell that the Republicans were up to their eyeballs in the Iraqi oil-for-food rake-off from all the transference-projection they did about it.

    Poll: Record High for Wrong-Track Rating - The Caucus Blog - NYTimes.com

  • Click here to watch our new video of the leaf rake-off and see which method wins the battle.

    The fastest way to deal with leaves

  • A considerable amount of tax collection is now done, in effect, by casinos; rather than raise taxes to pay for services, legislatures legalize gambling and then take a rake-off from the profits earned by private casino companies.

    The Sack of Washington

  • With the US gummint taking a sudden interest in squashing internet gambling sites, probably related to a lack of tax or graft rake-off therein, I was wondering something.

    Idle question regarding internet gambling

  • Mr. Kerrigan, at the thought of these hearty aldermen accustomed to all the perquisites of graft and rake-off, leaned back and gave vent to a burst of deep-chested laughter.

    The Titan

  • So there won't be much of an opportunity for a rake-off here, otherwise the whole thing will collapse.

    Presidents Interview With Kfmb

  • This was where Prior Philip was spending his rake-off from the market, William thought sourly.

    The Pillars of the Earth

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