raffish was our Word of the Day on 03/04/2011. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of raffish in a Sentence
the dowager cringed at the thought of raffish tourists in rough boots tromping all over her Persian rugs
Recent Examples of raffish from the Web
The show is raffish, quirky, whip-smart, defiantly non-commercial, and totally unafraid to offend, especially from the left side of the political spectrum.
His descriptions of the New York City of that era, and of the show-business personalities the twins met (including Barnum), are raffish and vivid.
Sharif’s raffish looks and onscreen charisma quickly earned him leading roles, including the titular part in Doctor Zhivago, which earned him an Oscar nomination.
There is every reason, then, to take a hard look at how the CTA’s Red Line-Purple Line modernization project will affect the raffish strip and the quiet neighborhoods around it.
Huggins is now seen as a raffish college basketball raconteur, not an outlaw.
Christopher Burchett’s Macheath deftly combined menace and raffish charm.
The book moves from Johnny’s experiences in raffish 1970s London to the city’s turn-of-the-millennium rave scene to his social life after the arrival of dating apps like Grindr, which turn out to be a boon for old as well as young men.
Based on the Volkswagen group’s MQB architecture and developed with an eye toward American buyers, the Jetta has a long roofline and short rear deck for a more raffish look than previous models.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'raffish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Raffish sounds like it should mean "resembling raff." But what is raff? Originally, "raff" was a word meaning "rubbish"; it derived from Middle English "raf," and it was being used for trash and refuse back in the 1400s. Around a century later, English speakers were also using the word riffraff to mean "disreputable characters" or "rabble." The origins of "riffraff" are distinct from the "rubbish" sense of "raff"; "riffraff" derived from an Anglo-French phrase meaning "one and all." By the mid-1500s, the similarities between "raff" and "riffraff" had prompted people to start using the two words as synonyms, and "raff" gained a "rabble" sense. It was that ragtag "raff" that gave rise to the adjective "raffish" in the late 1700s.
coarse, common, crass, crude, gross, ill-bred, insensible, low, lowbred, lowbrow, rough, rough-hewn, roughneck, rude, rugged, tasteless, uncouth, uncultivated, uncultured, unpolished, unrefined, vulgar;
RAFFISH Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of raffish for English Language Learners
: not completely acceptable or respectable but interesting and attractive
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