Definition of toff in English:


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derogatory, informal British
  • A rich or upper-class person.

    • ‘A ban won't just affect a few toffs and their rich country chums.’
    • ‘Grand ambition: to meet a rich toff and get married’
    • ‘A generation of rich and eccentric toffs with more money than sense block out what's happening in the world by immersing themselves in one party after another.’
    • ‘It's often perceived as an aristocratic indulgence, a sport for toffs and the idle rich.’
    • ‘But the countryside marchers were not toffs - they were real people, hard working people, genuine people.’
    • ‘Turn back the clocks a few months and we were worrying about traffic congestion, or calculating how to make a fast buck at the expense of well-off southern toffs.’
    • ‘You may see it as arrogant toffs showing off; but I see the English country house and its surrounding parkland as one of the great wonders of the world.’
    • ‘People who don't play cricket perceive it as a toffs' game, even at a centre of toffs like Cambridge’
    • ‘We were stationed in Henley-on-Thames, a beautiful riverside town best known for its annual Regatta and the huge brawls between toffs, tourists and anarchists on Henley Bridge which marked the start of the boat racing.’
    • ‘Back in the real world, Oxford is not just the turf of toffs and boffs: it was a major car-manufacturing centre until the terminal decline of the British car industry and is now a thriving centre of service industries.’
    • ‘Leaving aside terrier men, for whom the label ‘lower class’ might have been invented, the field and its followers included only a tiny handful of people who could fairly be described as toffs.’
    • ‘By making this pair of public school boys the figureheads of the pro-hunt lobby, the media is reinforcing the view that hunt supporters are toffs clinging to the last of the privileges enjoyed by the aristocracy.’
    • ‘I'm here to show them that they have got it all wrong and that we are not all titled toffs.’
    • ‘South Swindon people have a lot more in common with the fox than they do with toffs on horseback.’
    • ‘Reports suggest some southern toffs plan to stay at home rather than venture north of Watford, scared by tales of chilly climes, cloth caps and whippets.’
    • ‘Tatton in Cheshire came top, and it is amusing to learn that certain Sheffield residents are better off than the toffs from Kensington and Chelsea.’
    • ‘‘Well, I keep on reading that the toffs and the working classes get on well together,’ he says.’
    • ‘Maybe toffs aren't offensive as long as they're scruffy?’
    • ‘And even in London, plenty of young toffs would have been wearing dinner jackets.’
    • ‘Yet by the time he got to the track, old money had been scared away by new money and the sport was a far cry from the old days when the people who raced cars were toffs, and so were those who went to watch.’
    fop, beau, man about town, bright young thing, glamour boy, rake



/täf/ /tɑf/


Mid 19th century perhaps an alteration of tuft, used to denote a gold tassel worn on the cap by titled undergraduates at Oxford and Cambridge.