rip off


[rip-awf, -of]
noun Slang.
an act or instance of ripping off another or others; a theft, cheat, or swindle.
exploitation, especially of those who cannot prevent or counter it.
a copy or imitation.
a person who rips off another or others; thief or swindler.
Also, rip-off.

1965–70; noun use of verb phrase rip off Unabridged


1 [rip]
verb (used with object), ripped, ripping.
to cut or tear apart in a rough or vigorous manner: to rip open a seam; to rip up a sheet.
to cut or tear away in a rough or vigorous manner: to rip bark from a tree.
to saw (wood) in the direction of the grain.
Digital Technology. to copy (audio or video files from a CD, DVD, or website) to a hard drive or mobile device, typically by extracting the raw data and changing the file format in the process: Can you rip this CD for me? Compare burn1 ( def 29 ). See also DAE.
verb (used without object), ripped, ripping.
to become torn apart or split open: Cheap cloth rips easily.
Informal. to move with violence or great speed: The sports car ripped along in a cloud of dust and exhaust fumes.
a rent made by ripping; tear.
Slang. a cheat, swindle, or theft; ripoff: The average consumer doesn't realize that the new tax is a rip.
Verb phrases
rip into, Informal. to attack physically or verbally; assail.
rip off, Slang.
to steal or pilfer.
to rob or steal from.
to swindle, cheat, or exploit; take advantage of: phony charity appeals that rip off a gullible public.
rip out, Informal. to utter angrily, as with an oath or exclamation.
let rip, Slang.
to utter a series of oaths; swear.
to speak or write violently, rapidly, or at great length.
to allow to proceed at full speed or without restraint.

1470–80; 1960–65 for def 10; obscurely akin to Frisian rippe, dialectal Dutch rippen; compare dialectal English ripple to scratch

rippable, adjective
unrippable, adjective

burglarize, mug, rip off, rob, steal (see synonym study at rob).

1. See tear2. 7. laceration, cut. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
rip1 (rɪp)
vb (foll by into) , rips, ripping, ripped
1.  to tear or be torn violently or roughly; split or be rent
2.  (tr; foll by off or out) to remove hastily, carelessly, or roughly: they ripped out all the old kitchen units
3.  informal (intr) to move violently or precipitously; rush headlong
4.  informal to pour violent abuse (on); make a verbal attack (on)
5.  (tr) to saw or split (wood) in the direction of the grain
6.  informal (tr) computing to copy (music or software) without permission or making any payment
7.  let rip to act or speak without restraint
8.  the place where something is torn; a tear or split
9.  short for ripsaw
[C15: perhaps from Flemish rippen; compare Middle Dutch rippen to pull]

rip2 (rɪp)
short for riptide
[C18: perhaps from rip1]

rip3 (rɪp)
1.  something or someone of little or no value
2.  an old worn-out horse
3.  a dissolute character; reprobate
[C18: perhaps altered from rep, shortened from reprobate]

abbreviation for
requiescat or requiescant in pace
[Latin: may he, she, or they rest in peace]

rip off
1.  (tr) to tear violently or roughly (from)
2.  slang (adverb) to steal from or cheat (someone)
3.  slang an article or articles stolen
4.  slang a grossly overpriced article
5.  slang the act of stealing or cheating

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"tear apart," c.1477, probably of North Sea Gmc. origin (cf. Flem. rippen "strip off roughly," Frisian rippe "to tear, rip") or else from a Scand. source (cf. Swed. reppa, Dan. rippe "to tear, rip"). In either case, probably imitative of the sound of cloth ripping. Meaning "to move with slashing force"
(1798) is the sense in let her rip, Amer.Eng. colloquial phrase attested from 1853. The noun is attested from 1711; rip cord (1909) originally was in ballooning. The verbal phrase rip off "to steal or rob," is first recorded c.1967 in black slang, but rip was prison slang for "to steal" since 1904, and was also used in this sense in 12c. Rip-off (n.) is attested from 1970. Jack the Ripper contains a pun on ripper in sense of "tool for ripping" old slates, etc. (1793) and the slang meaning "a ripping fellow" (1838), from ripping "excellent, splendid" (1826).

"rough water," 1775, perhaps a special use of rip (v.). Originally of seas; application to rivers is from 1857. Rip-tide is attested from 1862.

"thing of little value," 1815, earlier "inferior or worn-out horse" (1778), perhaps altered from slang rep (1747) "man of loose character," which is itself perhaps short for reprobate (q.v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
rip   (rĭp)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A stretch of water in a river, estuary, or tidal channel made rough by waves meeting an opposing current.

  2. A rip current.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. raster image processor

  2. reproductive immunophynotype

The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

rip off

  1. Steal, as in They fired him when they caught him ripping off some of the merchandise.

  2. Cheat, defraud, as in These advertising claims have ripped off a great many consumers.

  3. Copy, plagiarize, as in He was sued for ripping off someone else's thesis. All three usages are slang from the second half of the 1900s.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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