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1. People regarded as disreputable or worthless.
2. Rubbish; trash.
[Late Middle English riffe raffe, from Middle English rif and raf, everything, one and all, rubbish, rabble, ultimately (if the expression was not coined in Middle English from elements of French origin and then borrowed by Middle French) from Middle French and Anglo-Norman rifraf, rif et raf, altogether, as in emporter rif et raf, to take away everything, probably a reduplicated formation from Middle French rifler, to plunder (from Old French to brush up against, scratch; see rifle2) and Middle French rafer, to remove or make off with forcefully (from Old French, of Germanic origin; akin to Middle Dutch rapen, to gather, collect, and Middle High German raffen, to snatch, rip off).]
n (sometimes functioning as plural)
1. worthless people, esp collectively; rabble
2. dialect worthless rubbish
[C15 rif and raf, from Old French rif et raf; related to rifler to plunder, and rafle a sweeping up; see rifle2, raffle]
1. disreputable people.
2. the lowest classes; rabble.
3. trash; rubbish.
[1425–75; late Middle English rif and raf every particle, things of small value < Old French rif et raf]
riffraff- Rif/riff, "spoil, strip," and raf, "carry off," combined as rif et raf in French, then went to English as riff and raff, "everything, every scrap," and then riffraff.
See also related terms for scrap.
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|Noun||1.||riffraff - disparaging terms for the common people|
common people, folk, folks - people in general (often used in the plural); "they're just country folk"; "folks around here drink moonshine"; "the common people determine the group character and preserve its customs from one generation to the next"