rife was our Word of the Day on 11/17/2014. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of rife in a Sentence
Speculation about who would be fired ran rife for weeks.
a city government that is rife with malfeasance and corruption
Recent Examples of rife from the Web
Terrorism, although still rife, has subsided dramatically.
The crisis has allowed Al-Jazeera, long an irritant for Mideast strongmen, to again assume the mantle of free-press champion in a region where censorship is rife and expressing unpopular views can lead to prison.
However, her banter — not unlike her lyrics — was rife with painfully cliché, simplistic positivity on par with Barney the dinosaur (notwithstanding the occasional f-bomb).
And in recent years, the South Florida recovery industry has been rife with corruption.
Their friendship snarls Mueller in a flagrant conflict of interest, the attack goes, and Mueller's team is rife with partisans.
In fact, our jails and prisons are rife with illegal drugs, and those who go in as addicts usually come out as addicts.
Even today, the ocean around South Georgia is rife with whales, dolphins, and other wildlife.
Too many of her studies in estrangement (Lost in Translation and Somewhere, especially) are rife with wan wisps of ennui and alienation framed within minimalist compositions that suggest Euro-fancy perfume ads trailing wistfulness in their wake.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rife.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
English is rife with words that have Germanic connections, many of which have been handed down to us from Old English. Rife is one of those words. Not a whole lot has changed with rife in its 900-year history. We continue to use the word, as we have since the 12th century, for negative things, especially those that are widespread or prevalent. Typical examples are "shoplifting was rife" or "the city was rife with greed and corruption." Rumors and speculation are also frequently described as "rife," as well. But rife can also be appropriately used, as it has been for hundreds of years, for good or neutral things. For example, you might speak of "the summer garden, rife with scents."
Origin and Etymology of rife
Middle English ryfe, from Old English rȳfe; akin to Old Norse rīfr abundant
First Known Use: 12th centurySee Words from the same year
RIFE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of rife for English Language Learners
: very common and often bad or unpleasant
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