riff·​raff | \ ˈrif-ˌraf How to pronounce riffraff (audio) \

Definition of riffraff

1a : disreputable persons
b : rabble
c : one of the riffraff

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Other Words from riffraff

riffraff adjective

Examples of riffraff in a Sentence

Try not to associate with that riffraff. the sight of piles and piles of riffraff at the town dump was a sobering reminder that we are indeed a society of consumers
Recent Examples on the Web Imagine the bargain-hunting riffraff such an establishment might attract. Rex Huppke, chicagotribune.com, 10 Mar. 2021 The common riffraff, the ones All too ready to mix it up. Douglas O. Linder, Scientific American, 20 Oct. 2020 Then came the rare native Hawaiians, then the various riffraff of white newcomers from the continent, then the Chinese with their skill in amassing money. John Dos Passos, National Review, 28 Sep. 2020 With the label maker, the riffraff of my kitchen—homemade dukkah! Preserved radish! Sarah Jampel, Bon Appétit, 23 Apr. 2020 Tour buses are no longer allowed to cruise the street, and the stores have other ways to keep out the riffraff. Laura Randall, Washington Post, 13 June 2019 In , historian Ted Gioia reclaims the story of music for the riffraff, insurgents, and provocateurs. Ted Gioia, Smithsonian, 18 Oct. 2019 In those days, design students were not allowed to go to the school lunchroom because we weren’t supposed to mingle with the art school riffraff. New York Times, 3 Oct. 2019 Aaron wants stars, aspiring-stars, and pure riffraff in the same loud room with garage ops and billion-dollar corporations. Cole Louison, GQ, 3 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'riffraff.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of riffraff

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for riffraff

Middle English ryffe raffe, from rif and raf every single one, from Anglo-French rif e raf altogether

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Time Traveler for riffraff

Time Traveler

The first known use of riffraff was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Riffraff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/riffraff. Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for riffraff



English Language Learners Definition of riffraff

disapproving : people who are not respectable : people who have very low social status


riff·​raff | \ ˈrif-ˌraf How to pronounce riffraff (audio) \

Kids Definition of riffraff

: a group of people who are not considered respectable or honest

More from Merriam-Webster on riffraff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for riffraff

Nglish: Translation of riffraff for Spanish Speakers


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