One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Having or displaying a dashing, jaunty, or slightly disreputable quality or appearance.‘he had a rakish, debonair look’
dashing, debonair, sporty, jaunty, devil-may-care, breezyView synonyms
- ‘He leapt away before I could retort, blew me a kiss, and with a rakish smile, ran into his house.’
- ‘In fact, on several occasions other characters draw attention to his obtuseness: fresh from the country, he is only imperfectly the rakish figure he imitates.’
- ‘Parliamentary propagandists accordingly disseminated an image of the typical cavalier as a rakish individual consumed by the pursuit of illicit pleasure and personal gain, a man devoid of moral principles.’
- ‘He arrives on the dot, his tall, dark-haired, slightly rakish figure hurrying up Petergate through the crowds.’
- ‘But as times and tastes changed, it needed a catalyst to move beyond the shopworn stereotypes of LAPD cops as either by-the-book straight arrows or rakish, rule-breaking mavericks.’
- ‘His rakish good looks were captivating, though there was no warmth in his eyes.’
- ‘Cory shook his head at her, his blond fringe falling over his dark eyes, giving him the rakish look.’
- ‘He propelled me to my brothers and left with a bow and a rakish grin towards me.’
- ‘With one or both side brims snapped up to the crown you get a rakish look which also stiffens the front brim against wind.’
- ‘A small smile materialized, making him appear rakish.’
- ‘His face has a slightly rakish quality to it, his eyes gleaming with charm, and cunning.’
- ‘Then he smiled for the first time, giving his battered face a handsomely rakish air and shook his head.’
- ‘We were also greeted by a large man in rumpled chef's whites and a rakish black beret, a handkerchief knotted jauntily around his neck.’
- ‘Maynard Dixon presented a slender, almost angular appearance with deep blue eyes, straight dark hair cascading toward one eye, a rakish mustache, slightly hooked nose, and long, facile hands.’
- ‘He's made it to the top of his profession on his own terms, armed with a sharp intellect, a rakish charm, keen wit and passionate belief in justice.’
- ‘He returned my tentative smile with a rakish grin of his own.’
- ‘When Margaret's marriage to a rakish fashion photographer broke up, she took up with a cad who promptly published a kiss-and-tell book on their affair.’
- ‘Tall, with a slightly rakish appearance, as if he'd just flown in from Monte Carlo or Rio or the south of France, Mark Bradshaw turned heads everywhere he went.’
- ‘Instead of a cloak, the thin man wore a short blue cape, which was currently flipped over one shoulder in a rakish fashion.’
- ‘The addition of a black leather flight jacket made him look like a particularly young and rakish test pilot.’
Late 17th century: from rake + -ish.
(especially of a boat or car) smart and fast-looking, with streamlined angles and curves.‘a rakish Chevrolet’
- ‘Its rakish nose and large headlamps give it a sporty look, but the car seems to run out of styling ideas at the back end where the curved side screens give it a droopy appearance.’
- ‘At a glance the long-nosed, low-wing Aztec bore a very strong resemblance to Irv Dunn's departed Twin Bonanza, with the Aztec's more rakish vertical tail a distinguishing feature.’
- ‘Huge parking lots, which were fully packed throughout the day with scores of sleek bikes, elegant two-wheelers and rakish cars, stand forlorn and neglected with nothing but tyre tracks and fading oil leaks on the ground.’
Early 19th century: from rake + -ish.
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