Definition of rip-off in English:



  • 1informal A fraud or swindle, especially something that is grossly overpriced.

    ‘designer label clothes are just expensive rip-offs’
    • ‘The rip-offs can vary from interest overcharging to the failure to set off loan accounts against accounts which are in credit.’
    • ‘The frequency of this consumer crusade by our guardians in Wapping has led most people to believe that these cheap bits of degradable plastic are nothing but a rip-off of the highest order.’
    • ‘Home insurance (buildings and contents cover) and mortgage payment protection insurance (accident, sickness and unemployment cover) from mortgage lenders are rip-offs, too.’
    • ‘These rip-offs include payment protection insurance (optional life, accident, sickness and unemployment cover) and card protection plans (cover for lost or stolen plastic).’
    • ‘The New York attorney general who has made his name exposing sharp practices on Wall Street, has now turned his attention to alleged rip-offs by pharmaceutical companies.’
    • ‘But as appealing as these offers sound, they're usually rip-offs.’
    • ‘Most auction sites are concerned about the effects that fraudulent transactions have on their business and, as a result, have introduced a number of mechanisms designed to reduce to protect customers against such rip-offs.’
    • ‘Store cards are among the UK's biggest financial rip-offs - and yet we have around 18 ½ million store-card accounts, with 23 million cards in circulation.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, this issue is just the latest in a long line of disguised consumer rip-offs in the name of consumer protection, created by government enforced agricultural cartel marketing organizations.’
    • ‘These ‘explorers’ often claim to be benevolent defenders of freedom and fighters against rip-offs by major corporations or spying by government agents.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, booking a trip online is a difficult sandbox to sift through, a landscape rife with rip-offs and reverse auctions, great deals and time-share come-ons.’
    • ‘As such it's one of the most monumental rip-offs we know of - one which will, of course, be bought with taxpayers' hard-earned cash wherever it's deployed.’
    • ‘In other words, its profit margins are around 80%, which makes it one of the UK's biggest financial rip-offs.’
    • ‘In my view, and speaking as someone who worked in this industry for over eleven years, payment protection insurance is one of the most grotesque financial rip-offs ever.’
    • ‘Of course, while a few of these products qualify for the prized honour of being a Best Buy, most are mediocre or, even worse, complete rip-offs.’
    • ‘Payment protection insurance is one of the biggest financial rip-offs ever.’
    • ‘And perhaps more importantly, most authors don't want to name names when it comes to pointing out bad products or rip-off hosting companies, of which there are far too many.’
    • ‘Remind me how the FSA protects investors from unscrupulous companies and salespeople and rip-off products?’
    fraud, swindle, fraudulent scheme, confidence trick, mare's nest
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1An inferior imitation of something.
      ‘rip-offs of all the latest styles’
      • ‘He was first lionised by the press and then held unfairly responsible for the subsequent slew of inferior rip-offs by other directors.’
      • ‘Then you can count on some no-name studio to produce rip-offs of those blockbusters.’
      • ‘And it may make rip-off artists think twice before churning out knock-offs.’
      • ‘Okay, so we all know that Hollywood thrives on the unoriginal - homages, remakes, sequels, adaptations and jes'plain rip-offs.’
      • ‘You gotta love them for their originality, even if the movies featured in this collection are a mixed bag of campy flicks, classic genre rip-offs, and foreign titles.’
      • ‘Most early house records were disco rip-offs.’
      • ‘Everywhere there were tachiste paintings that seemed absorbed in sentimental assertions of the beauty of abstraction, coexisting with touristic-looking carved-wood rip-offs of traditional African sculpture.’
      • ‘A while back there was a discussion on this forum about how the film was basically a rip-off of some director or company.’