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[raf-uh l] /ˈræf əl/
a form of lottery in which a number of persons buy one or more chances to win a prize.
verb (used with object), raffled, raffling.
to dispose of by a raffle (often followed by off):
to raffle off a watch.
verb (used without object), raffled, raffling.
to take part in a raffle.
Origin of raffle1
1350-1400; Middle English rafle dice game < Middle French, derivative of rafler to snatch; cf. raff
Related forms
raffler, noun
unraffled, adjective


[raf-uh l] /ˈræf əl/
Nautical. a tangle, as of ropes, canvas, etc.
1790-1800; raff + -le Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for raffle
  • But this did not deter ice-watch devotees, who turned the contest into a raffle instead.
  • Attendees supported local raffle for pair of native made snowshoes and one of their own won it.
  • Sound off in the comments below if you want your name thrown into the hat for the raffle.
  • Proceeds from the sale of single-species raffle tickets will be used for the management and benefit of that species.
  • Here you are able to search for information on charities, charity fundraising professionals, and raffle registrants.
  • They handed out raffle tickets for wise food choices.
  • The event also includes a craft show, bake sale, silent auction and raffle.
  • Their works are available to purchase through an art raffle.
  • Each admission automatically enters you in a raffle.
  • Chook raffle a type of raffle where the prize is a chicken.
British Dictionary definitions for raffle


  1. a lottery in which the prizes are goods rather than money
  2. (as modifier): a raffle ticket
(transitive) often foll by off. to dispose of (goods) in a raffle
Derived Forms
raffler, noun
Word Origin
C14 (a dice game): from Old French, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for raffle

late 14c., "dice game," from Old French rafle "dice game," also "plundering," perhaps from a Germanic source (cf. Middle Dutch raffel "dice game," Old Frisian hreppa "to move," Old Norse hreppa "to reach, get," Swedish rafs "rubbish," Old High German raspon "to scrape together, snatch up in haste," German raffen "to snatch away, sweep off"), from Proto-Germanic *khrap- "to pluck out, snatch off." The notion would be "to sweep up (the stakes), to snatch (the winnings)." Dietz connects the French word with the Germanic root, but OED is against this. Meaning "sale of chances" first recorded 1766.


"dispose of by raffle," 1851, from raffle (n.). Related: Raffled; raffling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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