Meaning of riff-raff in English:


Pronunciation /ˈrɪfraf/

See synonyms for riff-raff


mass noun
  • Disreputable or undesirable people.

    ‘I saw the sort of riff-raff that had been invited’
    • ‘The reason that we bought these seats is because we don't want to be bothered with the general riff-raff.’
    • ‘They let in all sorts of riff-raff here, don't they?’
    • ‘While I think programs and materials for the gifted are fine and good, I worry about meetings like this in which the dominant sentiment is that the only way to educate the gifted is to remove them from the company of mere mortal riff-raff.’
    • ‘I'm so glad I'm an independent so that I don't have to be associated with the soiled riff-raff who actually have to win elections and govern in this country.’
    • ‘They were supposed to keep the nearby city's riff-raff out and the good, wholesome and hardworking college students like myself in.’
    • ‘Pete Wishart, who sits for the SNP, felt the decision should lie with members of the Scottish parliament, and not with government riff-raff down south.’
    • ‘With the right clientele this is not a problem but if the management is only interested in keeping the tills ringing and letting any old riff-raff through the doors it is asking for trouble.’
    • ‘Those who can afford expensive private preschools often don't want to see them filled with middle-class riff-raff.’
    • ‘But people who were pointing this out were Leftists, Crypto-Communists and other riff-raff.’
    • ‘The police are trying their best, but all they can do is make nightly raids on the underworld and round up Dusseldorf's riff-raff.’
    • ‘Chauffeured around town in a pink Rolls Royce, he takes over entire restaurants to avoid encountering riff-raff.’
    • ‘You hang around with riff-raff like the Weasleys and that Hagrid and it'll rub off on you.’
    • ‘Kripal Singh told me that the government agencies had been creating many armed vigilante groups out of anti-social riff-raff, so as to infiltrate and neutralize genuine militant outfits.’
    • ‘‘I agree,’ The Duke said nastily, ‘it seems they will just let any old riff-raff into places these days.’’
    • ‘Apparently, the idea is to keep out the non-technical riff-raff.’
    • ‘There are hit men, murderers, philanderers, thieves, betrayers, and other assorted riff-raff.’
    • ‘Bishop invited a lot of riff-raff, and they brought their friends.’
    • ‘Let us not mind the drug dealers, the pimps, and the other riff-raff who hang around that sordid industry.’
    • ‘That they happen to clean up a lot of the town's riff-raff is simply an added bonus.’
    • ‘Daemon seated himself as inconspicuously as possible while his shipmates mingled raucously with the riff-raff that populated the bar.’
    rabble, scum, refuse, garbage, trash, vermin, the lowest of the low, in the underclass, the dregs of society, good-for-nothings, undesirables
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Late 15th century (as riff and raff): from Old French rif et raf ‘one and all, every bit’, of Germanic origin.