riffle

verb
rif·​fle | \ ˈri-fəl How to pronounce riffle (audio) \
riffled; riffling\ ˈri-​f(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce riffling (audio) \

Definition of riffle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to form, flow over, or move in riffles
2 : to flip cursorily : thumb riffle through the catalog

transitive verb

1 : to ruffle slightly : ripple
2a : to leaf through hastily specifically : to leaf by sliding a thumb along the edge of the leaves riffle a stack of paper
b : to shuffle (playing cards) by separating the deck into two parts and riffling with the thumbs so the cards intermix
3 : to manipulate (small objects) idly between the fingers

riffle

noun

Definition of riffle (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a shallow extending across a streambed and causing broken water
b : a stretch of water flowing over a riffle
2 : a small wave or succession of small waves : ripple
3a : any of various contrivances (such as blocks or rails) laid on the bottom of a sluice or launder to make a series of grooves or interstices to catch and retain a mineral (such as gold)
b : a groove or interstice so formed
4 : a cleat or bar fastened to an inclined surface in a gold-washing apparatus to catch and hold mineral grains
5 [riffle entry 1]
a : the act or process of shuffling something (such as a deck of cards)
b : the sound made while doing this

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Synonyms for riffle

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of riffle in a Sentence

Verb He riffled the pages of the magazine. Web research is convenient but doesn't offer the tactile pleasures of riffling through heavy old books.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Watergate hearings, which stretched into 1974, played like Shakespeare spliced with courtroom drama: riffling papers, conspirators, men in the wings and the penetrating southern drawl of Sen. Sam Ervin, which reverberated with moral urgency. Jeffrey Fleishman, chicagotribune.com, "Watergate was a TV spectacle. Just wait for the reboot: Trump," 4 Oct. 2019 The Watergate hearings, which stretched into 1974, played like Shakespeare spliced with courtroom drama: riffling papers, conspirators, men in the wings and the penetrating southern drawl of Sen. Sam Ervin, which reverberated with moral urgency. Jeffrey Fleishman, chicagotribune.com, "Watergate was a TV spectacle. Just wait for the reboot: Trump," 4 Oct. 2019 The Watergate hearings, which stretched into 1974, played like Shakespeare spliced with courtroom drama: riffling papers, conspirators, men in the wings and the penetrating southern drawl of Sen. Sam Ervin, which reverberated with moral urgency. Jeffrey Fleishman, chicagotribune.com, "Watergate was a TV spectacle. Just wait for the reboot: Trump," 4 Oct. 2019 The Watergate hearings, which stretched into 1974, played like Shakespeare spliced with courtroom drama: riffling papers, conspirators, men in the wings and the penetrating southern drawl of Sen. Sam Ervin, which reverberated with moral urgency. Jeffrey Fleishman, chicagotribune.com, "Watergate was a TV spectacle. Just wait for the reboot: Trump," 4 Oct. 2019 Justin Herbert with a ton of time, riffles a 28-yard laser to Johnny Johnson III for a touchdown. oregonlive, "Rewinding Oregon Ducks’ 24-10 Civil War football victory against Oregon State Beavers: Live updates recap," 30 Nov. 2019 The Watergate hearings, which stretched into 1974, played like Shakespeare spliced with courtroom drama: riffling papers, conspirators, men in the wings and the penetrating southern drawl of Sen. Sam Ervin, which reverberated with moral urgency. Jeffrey Fleishman, chicagotribune.com, "Watergate was a TV spectacle. Just wait for the reboot: Trump," 4 Oct. 2019 After stealing the purse, the thief hid it inside her own purse, and then riffled through it in the parking lot. Tiffini Theisen, orlandosentinel.com, "Central Florida Walmart shopper steals purse of woman, 84," 22 Oct. 2019 The Watergate hearings, which stretched into 1974, played like Shakespeare spliced with courtroom drama: riffling papers, conspirators, men in the wings and the penetrating southern drawl of Sen. Sam Ervin, which reverberated with moral urgency. Los Angeles Times, "Watergate was a TV spectacle. Just wait for the reboot: Trump," 3 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun When abnormally high flows from spring runoff are pounding the outside bends and pushing rocks down the riffles where trout usually hold, the trout move out of the way. John Merwin, Field & Stream, "Catch Big Spring Trout in High, Dirty Water," 9 Apr. 2020 Through the riffle's viewfinder, Mike sees Judy's son in the crowd and drops the weapon. Elizabeth Montgomery, azcentral, "Garrett Hedlund and Forrest Whitaker are great in 'Burden,' but the film lacks impact," 5 Mar. 2020 Flatland consultant David Heilman recommended the riffle modification, which involves installing a sloping stepping stone system that mimics the elevation of the dam, but allows fish and sediment to wash over it. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "Lake Station dam option retains river culture," 16 May 2018 Steelhead trout run is on: Lake Erie’s Northeast Ohio tributaries are coming down after the big snows earlier this week, and steelhead trout are moving to the riffles and deep pools. D'arcy Egan, cleveland, "Steelhead trout run is on; Lake Erie walleye limits within reach: Fishing Report for Nov. 15," 15 Nov. 2019 There are just enough riffles to spice things up, but nothing to set your teeth on edge. Scott Craven, azcentral, "5 Arizona outdoor adventures that end with a glass of wine in your hand," 8 Nov. 2019 The rocks fall to the ground in a big pile, and silt settles in riffles on the sloping ramp of the sluice. Nell Zink, Harper's magazine, "The Bird Angle," 28 Oct. 2019 The trout and chubs will forage and lounge in a sanctuary of potable and treated water contoured with pools, riffles and waterfalls designed by biologists at Stillwater Sciences, a consulting firm. Los Angeles Times, "South Gate charts new course to rear native fish that thrived before L.A.’s explosive growth," 17 Sep. 2019 Beaver ponds may have warmer surface water than upstream riffles, but those same pools can actually hold colder water at deeper levels. John Myers, Twin Cities, "Damming question: Can beaver and trout coexist? ‘We don’t know yet.’," 26 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'riffle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of riffle

Verb

1754, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

1785, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for riffle

Noun and Verb

perhaps alteration of ruffle

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Time Traveler for riffle

Time Traveler

The first known use of riffle was in 1754

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Statistics for riffle

Last Updated

3 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Riffle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/riffle. Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for riffle

riffle

verb
How to pronounce riffle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of riffle

chiefly British : to look through something quickly and not very closely

riffle

verb
rif·​fle | \ ˈri-fəl How to pronounce riffle (audio) \
riffled; riffling

Kids Definition of riffle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to move lightly Wind riffled the bird's feathers.
2 : to look through quickly I riffled through a magazine.

riffle

noun

Kids Definition of riffle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a shallow area of a stream bed that causes ripples

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More from Merriam-Webster on riffle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for riffle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with riffle

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about riffle

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