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raf·​fle ˈra-fəl How to pronounce raffle (audio)
raffled; raffling ˈra-f(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce raffle (audio)

intransitive verb

: to engage in a raffle

transitive verb

: to dispose of by means of a raffle
raffle off a turkey


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noun (1)

: a lottery in which the prize is won by one of numerous persons buying chances


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noun (2)

: rubbish
especially : a jumble or tangle of nautical equipment

Examples of raffle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Prizes will be raffled and Anderson Humane Society will have dogs available that are ready for adoption or fostering. Mike Danahey, Chicago Tribune, 24 Aug. 2023 Portable bassinets, baby carrying systems and swings were raffled off and diaper bags filled with essentials for a baby were given away. Jasmin Barmore, Detroit Free Press, 15 Aug. 2023 The flight will be raffled at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 28. Amanda Hancock, The Courier-Journal, 14 Aug. 2023 The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana, 550 S. First St., is again raffling off five bottles of Pappy packaged as a flight. Amanda Hancock, The Courier-Journal, 14 Aug. 2023 The north suburban Lake Villa Republican Party was supposed to raffle off a semi-automatic rifle at a golf outing this week, but the drawing was postponed in May after the mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas. Dan Petrella, Chicago Tribune, 11 July 2022 All community members are invited and backpacks and school supplies will be distributed, with a limited amount of laptops raffled. Staff Report, Chicago Tribune, 4 Aug. 2023 Thanks to the sponsorship of the Medina Auto Mall and the Northeast Ohio Buick GMC Dealers, the school will be raffling off a new 2023 GMC Acadia. cleveland, 14 July 2023 The longstanding Kentucky bourbon brand has partnered with Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana and CHAMP Camp to raffle off a set of six bottles of bourbon from the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery with proceeds from the raffle benefitting both organizations. Victoria Moorwood, The Enquirer, 11 Apr. 2022
Rides, games, live music, petting zoo, raffles, beer tasting and food. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, 10 Sep. 2023 There will also be dancing, raffles, face painting, balloon animals, and bouncy houses. BostonGlobe.com, 6 Sep. 2023 Attendees will also be able to participate in raffles, receive chair massages and pick up giveaway items. Mike Danahey, Chicago Tribune, 5 Sep. 2023 The event, which runs from 5 to 8 p.m., includes specials at various stores, hors d’oeuvres and refreshments along the way, shopping and a raffle for a great prize. Jdumound, cleveland, 3 Sep. 2023 Polish Festival This 49th annual event will have Polish music, Polish food, Polish beer, raffles, dancing, Bingo and a tour of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Wyandotte. Brendel Hightower, Detroit Free Press, 24 Aug. 2023 What: 15- to 45-mile rides that culminate in a brewery party with a raffle, live music, pint glass and icy crafty brews. Roxana Popescu, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Aug. 2023 Anyone who purchases a drink on special during the Packers game will get put in a raffle for a chance to sit in the recliner. Jordyn Noennig, Journal Sentinel, 26 Aug. 2023 Authentic Greek food and pastries, drinks, games, entertainment and a raffle are part of the fun. Melinda Moore, Chicago Tribune, 15 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'raffle.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle English rafle, a dice game, from Middle French, dice game in which all the stakes can be won in a throw, literally, rake for a fire, from Middle High German raffel rake for a fire, from raffen to snatch, gather

Noun (2)

probably from French rafle act of snatching, sweeping, from Middle French, rake for a fire

First Known Use


circa 1680, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun (1)

1709, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1543, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of raffle was in 1543

Dictionary Entries Near raffle

Cite this Entry

“Raffle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/raffle. Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
raf·​fle ˈraf-əl How to pronounce raffle (audio)
raffled; raffling ˈraf-(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce raffle (audio)
: to dispose of by a raffle
raffle off a turkey


2 of 2 noun
: the sale of chances for a prize whose winner is the one whose ticket is picked at a drawing

More from Merriam-Webster on raffle

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