1

riff

play
noun \ˈrif\

Definition of riff

  1. 1 :  an ostinato phrase (as in jazz) typically supporting a solo improvisation; also :  a piece based on such a phrase

  2. 2 :  a rapid energetic often improvised verbal outpouring; especially :  one that is part of a comic performance

  3. 3 :  a succinct usually witty comment

  4. 4 :  a distinct variation :  take a disturbing … riff on the Cinderella story — Daria Donnelly

Examples of riff in a sentence

  1. He stole that riff from another song.

  2. a mock news program with humorous riffs on current events

Origin and Etymology of riff

probably by shortening & alteration from refrain


First Known Use: 1935


2

riff

verb

Definition of riff

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to perform, deliver, or make use of a riff

1948

First Known Use of riff

1948


3

riff

verb

Definition of riff

  1. :  riffle, skim riff pages

Origin and Etymology of riff

short for riffle


First Known Use: 1952


RIFF Defined for English Language Learners

1

riff

play
noun \ˈrif\

Definition of riff for English Language Learners

  • music : a short and usually repeated pattern of notes in a song

  • : a short set of comments on a particular subject


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