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3 definitions found
 for raffish
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Raffish \Raff"ish\ (r[.a]f"[i^]sh), a.
     Resembling, or having the character of, raff, or a raff;
     worthless; low.
     [1913 Webster]
  
           A sad, raffish, disreputable character.  --Thackeray.
     [1913 Webster]
  
     2. Mildly disreputable or nonconformist; unconventional.
        [PJC]
  
              Tales of his [Ted Kennedy's] drinking and raffish
              behavior have become part of his public persona,
              often lumped under a vaster damnation known as "the
              character issue".
              . . .
              He appears to compartmentalize his off-duty conduct
              and his Senate responsibilities; during dozens of
              interviews for this article, with friends and foes,
              not one could cite an instance in which drinking
              appeared to impair him professionally. His
              adversaries grumble about it anyway; friends portray
              it as relatively harmless and charming.
              Orrin Hatch, the conservative Utah Republican who is
              also a Mormon, tells this story with what he
              describes as "a tremendous brotherly affection." Two
              days before the Senate adjourned in October 1988,
              Hatch took a call from Frank Madsen, a former aide
              who had moved to Boston to supervise 200 young
              Mormon missionaries. Would Hatch come speak to them?
              Would he bring Kennedy? Would he ask Kennedy to
              reserve Faneuil Hall for the event?
              With some misgivings, Hatch agreed to try. Shortly
              before midnight, he found Kennedy and Chris Dodd in
              the Capitol. Neither was feeling any pain.
              "Ted, I've got a favor to ask."
              Kennedy wrapped an arm around Hatch. "Done!"
              Hatch held up a restraining hand. "No, hear me out.
              You remember my aide, Frank Madsen -- "
              "Great fellow! Great fellow!"
              "He's now in Boston -- "
              "My home town! My home town!"
              Hatch eventually made his request. Kennedy assented.
              Hatch returned to his office, typed out the
              agreement and sent it to Kennedy's office. The next
              day, Hatch spied Kennedy reading the memo. "Orrin,"
              Kennedy called in mock horror, "what else did I
              agree to?" Three months later, in January 1989,
              Hatch and Kennedy stood elbow-to-elbow in Faneuil
              Hall, addressing the Mormon missionaries. --Rick
                                                    Atkinson,
                                                    Washington
                                                    Post, Sept.
                                                    29, 1990
        [PJC]
  
     3. Dissolute; rakish.
        [PJC]
  
              Of all such places, Santa Fe may well be the least
              raffish. At least in the off-season, it's a town
              that goes to bed early, showing all the prudent
              reserve of a city of bankers and claims adjusters.
              In the historic center, a visitor searches in vain
              for tawdry traces of the hard-drinking,
              wild-womanizing, heavy-gambling cowboy town this
              once must have been.                  --Brad
                                                    Leithauser
                                                    ("Santa Fe",
                                                    in New York
                                                    Times Magazine
                                                    / May 13,
                                                    2001).
        [PJC]
  
              Over the years, it [Macau] has maintained a
              downright raffish atmosphere, complete with warring
              gangsters.                            --Yvette
                                                    Ziols.
        [PJC]
  
     4. Vulgarly gaudy; cheap and tawdry; as, a tendency toward
        gaudy jewelry, bright colors and generally raffish dress.
        [PJC]
  
              A lonely orphan, Lilli, lands a job with a raffish
              and run-down carnival. The wide-eyed and innocent
              orphan is mesmerized by its gritty, tawdry glamour.
                                                    --Anonymous
                                                    review of the
                                                    play Carnival
                                                    (http://www.kt-online.org/plays/02-carnival-frame.html)
        [PJC]
  
     4. Appealing to or frequented by dissolute or disreputable
        people; as, a raffish night club.
        [PJC]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  raffish
      adj 1: marked by up-to-dateness in dress and manners; "a dapper
             young man"; "a jaunty red hat" [syn: dapper, dashing,
             jaunty, natty, raffish, rakish, spiffy,
             snappy, spruce]
      2: marked by a carefree unconventionality or disreputableness;
         "a cocktail party given by some...raffish bachelors"- Crary
         Moore [syn: devil-may-care, raffish, rakish]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  21 Moby Thesaurus words for "raffish":
     boorish, carlish, churlish, cloddish, clownish, devil-may-care,
     fast, gay, hooliganish, loobyish, loutish, lubberly, lumpish,
     rakehell, rakish, roughneck, rowdy, rowdyish, ruffianly, sporty,
     yokelish
  
  

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