What does riffraff mean?

riffraff meaning in General Dictionary

disparaging terms when it comes to typical men and women

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  • Sweepings refuse the cheapest purchase of community
  • Sweepings; refuse; the cheapest order of community.

riffraff meaning in Etymology Dictionary

in addition riff-raff, late 15c., from earlier rif and raf "one and all sorts of, everybody, every scrap," additionally "sweepings, refuse" (mid-14c.), from Old French rif et raf, from rifler "to spoil, strip" (see rifle (v.)). 2nd element from raffler "carry down," associated with rafle "plundering," or from raffer "to snatch, to sweep collectively" (see raffle (letter.)).

riffraff meaning in General Dictionary

(letter.) Sweepings; refuse; the lowest order of culture.

Sentence Examples with the word riffraff

In spite of the niggardly policy of the court of directors, who refused to incur the expense of employing skilled engineers, Aungier succeeded in fortifying the town and shore; he also raised a force of militia and regulars, the latter mainly Germans (as more trustworthy than the riffraff collected in London by the Company's crimps).

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