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See also: rake-hell
From to rake (out) hell (“to search through hell thoroughly”), in the sense of a person so evil or immoral that they cannot be found in hell even after an extensive search: see rake (“to search through (thoroughly)”). Compare rakeshame.
rakehell (comparative more rakehell, superlative most rakehell)
- (archaic) Immoral; dissolute. [from 16th c.]
- 1596, Edmund Spenser, “Book V, Canto XI”, in The Faerie Queene. […], London: […] [John Wolfe] for William Ponsonbie, →OCLC:
- And farre away, amid their rakehell bands, / They spide a Lady left all succourlesse […].
rakehell (plural rakehells)
- (archaic) A lewd or wanton person; a debauchee; a rake. [from 16th c.]
- a. 1678 (date written), Isaac Barrow, “(please specify the chapter name or sermon number). Of Industry in General”, in The Works of Dr. Isaac Barrow. […], volume (please specify |volume=I to VII), London: A[braham] J[ohn] Valpy, […], published 1830–1831, →OCLC:
- It seldom doth happen, in any way of life, that a sluggard and a rakehell do not go together.
- 1725, Daniel Defoe, Everybody's Business is Nobody's Business:
- And indeed I believe the insolence of this creature will ruin her master at last, by driving away men of sobriety and business, and making the place a den of vagabonds and rakehells.
- 1826, [Walter Scott], chapter 32, in Woodstock; Or, The Cavalier. […], volume (please specify |volume=I, II, or III), Edinburgh: […] [James Ballantyne and Co.] for Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, →OCLC:
- “It is some freak of that drunken rakehell,” said Albert, in a low voice, to his sister, who had crept out after him on tiptoe.
- c. 1906, Arthur Conan Doyle, Through the Magic Door:
- A fat little bookseller in the City, a rakehell wit of noble blood, and a rugged Scotch surgeon from the navy— […]
- ^ “rakehell, adj. and n.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, June 2008; “rakehell, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
- ^ “to rake (out) hell, phrase” under “rake, v.2”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, June 2008; “rake1, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
- Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “rakehell”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
- [Francis] Grose [et al.] (1811), “RAKE, RAKEHELL, OR RAKESHAME”, in Lexicon Balatronicum. A Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit, and Pickpocket Eloquence. […], London: […] C. Chappell, […], →OCLC.
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