1 [raf-uhl]
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.

1350–1400; Middle English rafle dice game < Middle French, derivative of rafler to snatch; cf. raff

raffler, noun
unraffled, adjective
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2 [raf-uhl]
Nautical. a tangle, as of ropes, canvas, etc.

1790–1800; raff + -le

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
raffle (ˈræfəl)
1.  a.  a lottery in which the prizes are goods rather than money
 b.  (as modifier): a raffle ticket
vb (often foll by off)
2.  to dispose of (goods) in a raffle
[C14 (a dice game): from Old French, of obscure origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from O.Fr. rafle "dice game," also "plundering," perhaps from a Gmc. source (cf. M.Du. raffel "dice game," O.Fris. hreppa "to move," O.N. hreppa "to reach, get," Ger. raffen "to snatch away, sweep off"), from P.Gmc. *khrap- "to pluck out, snatch off." The notion would be "to sweep up (the
stakes), to snatch (the winnings)." Dietz connects the O.Fr. word with the Gmc. root, but OED is against this. Meaning "sale of chances" first recorded 1766.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
But this did not deter ice-watch devotees, who turned the contest into a raffle
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.
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