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1. To clear a surface of something, especially leaves, with a rake. Would you go rake off the lawn, please? It's covered in dead leaves!
2. To clean, clear, or scrape something off of some area or surface with or as if with a rake. A noun or pronoun can be used between "rake" and "off." I need to go rake those dead leaves off the sidewalk. The mower doesn't have a bag to catch the clippings, so you have to rake off the grass by hand once you've cut the lawn.
3. To clear something off (of something) with a sweeping motion, as if with a rake. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "rake" and "off." She raked all the documents off the desk in a fit of anger. He took a large cloth and raked off all the dust that had accumulated on the shelf.
4. To make a profit from some illegal, inappropriate, or dishonest transaction. The mayor quickly resigned after it was discovered he was raking off money from the city's budget to help finance his gambling addiction.
Profits made from a transaction, usually in an inappropriate, illegal, or dishonest way. The mayor quickly resigned after it was discovered he was taking a rake-off from the local cartel's drug sales.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
rake something off (of) somethingand rake something off
to remove something from something by raking. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) Please rake the leaves off the lawn. Rake off the leaves.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Make an unlawful profit, as in They suspected her of raking off some of the campaign contributions for her personal use . This expression alludes to the raking of chips by an attendant at a gambling table. [Late 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.