Definition: Cheaply or showily vulgar in appearance or nature; tawdry.
Origin: Raff is the Middle English term for rubbish; ish is a suffix.
Why this word?
“Mother Monster” Lady Gaga lives up to the definition of raffish with her outrageous wardrobe. This entertainer knows how to parade daring costumes without losing her elegance, dignity, and star-power. Those with eccentric dispositions could be deemed raffish, but this would depend on the level eccentricity in regards to clothing or appearance.Homeless people could be considered raffish. However, due to the nature of their situation, this might be viewed as an unfair assessment.
Individuals who refuse to wear age appropriate clothing are raffish. An elderly woman for example, who has no problem wearing a leotard and tutu in a public space. Unless she is professional dance instructor running a quick errand, I believe this to be unacceptable. The bottom line is that people should wear clothes that fit their body types and ages.
Many furniture sets and interior designs are also very raffish. Although I enjoy a nice alternative decorative item ever so often, some creations should never reach the manufacturing production line.
How to use this word in a sentence?
Lady Gaga’s raffish meat dress led me to consider a permanent vegan diet.