Definition of toff in English:



derogatory, informal
  • A rich or upper-class person.

    • ‘By making this pair of public school boys the figureheads of the pro-hunt lobby, the media is reinforcing the view that hunt supporters are toffs clinging to the last of the privileges enjoyed by the aristocracy.’
    • ‘‘Well, I keep on reading that the toffs and the working classes get on well together,’ he says.’
    • ‘A ban won't just affect a few toffs and their rich country chums.’
    • ‘Leaving aside terrier men, for whom the label ‘lower class’ might have been invented, the field and its followers included only a tiny handful of people who could fairly be described as toffs.’
    • ‘It's often perceived as an aristocratic indulgence, a sport for toffs and the idle rich.’
    • ‘I'm here to show them that they have got it all wrong and that we are not all titled toffs.’
    • ‘You may see it as arrogant toffs showing off; but I see the English country house and its surrounding parkland as one of the great wonders of the world.’
    • ‘Reports suggest some southern toffs plan to stay at home rather than venture north of Watford, scared by tales of chilly climes, cloth caps and whippets.’
    • ‘Back in the real world, Oxford is not just the turf of toffs and boffs: it was a major car-manufacturing centre until the terminal decline of the British car industry and is now a thriving centre of service industries.’
    • ‘Maybe toffs aren't offensive as long as they're scruffy?’
    • ‘A generation of rich and eccentric toffs with more money than sense block out what's happening in the world by immersing themselves in one party after another.’
    • ‘But the countryside marchers were not toffs - they were real people, hard working people, genuine people.’
    • ‘We were stationed in Henley-on-Thames, a beautiful riverside town best known for its annual Regatta and the huge brawls between toffs, tourists and anarchists on Henley Bridge which marked the start of the boat racing.’
    • ‘Turn back the clocks a few months and we were worrying about traffic congestion, or calculating how to make a fast buck at the expense of well-off southern toffs.’
    • ‘And even in London, plenty of young toffs would have been wearing dinner jackets.’
    • ‘Tatton in Cheshire came top, and it is amusing to learn that certain Sheffield residents are better off than the toffs from Kensington and Chelsea.’
    • ‘Yet by the time he got to the track, old money had been scared away by new money and the sport was a far cry from the old days when the people who raced cars were toffs, and so were those who went to watch.’
    • ‘People who don't play cricket perceive it as a toffs' game, even at a centre of toffs like Cambridge’
    • ‘Grand ambition: to meet a rich toff and get married’
    • ‘South Swindon people have a lot more in common with the fox than they do with toffs on horseback.’
    fop, beau, man about town, bright young thing, glamour boy, rake
    View synonyms


be toffed up
dated, informal
  • Be smartly dressed.

    ‘he was all toffed up in officer's broadcloth’
    • ‘Later that day Nick's all toffed up and on his way to meet Leo.’
    • ‘He presided over my graduation ceremony last year, toffed up in some ridiculous gown like he's the most educated man in Britain, rather than a bit of a prat.’
    • ‘One of the best parts of the movie, for me at any rate, was when Eliza Doolittle gets all toffed up for the races.’
    • ‘And there is not much chance that she toffed herself up and pretended to be a lady!’
    • ‘However, they bailed by cellphone shortly thereafter, after I'd already got toffed up and driven to the location.’
    • ‘It was great to see a photo of you all toffed up too, you glamorous thing!’


Mid 19th century: perhaps an alteration of tuft, used to denote a gold tassel worn on the cap by titled undergraduates at Oxford and Cambridge.