riffle

verb
rif·​fle | \ˈri-fəl \
riffled; riffling\ ˈri-​f(ə-​)liŋ \

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 [ 1riffle ]

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

flip, leaf, skim, thumb

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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 sun is intoxicating, and the wind is riffling her wig and gently cooling the piping hot Cup O' Noodles in her hand. Caity Weaver, GQ, "There's Something Funny About Tiffany Haddish," 26 Mar. 2018 The bear was riffling through garbage cans like a homeless person looking for food. Angela Helm, The Root, "This Starving Polar Bear Should Prove to All Climate Change Deniers That They’re Delusional and Disgusting," 9 Dec. 2017 For fastidious gamers, there’s less need to keep the components pristine, allowing you the guilty pleasure of riffling all your cards. Tom Mendelsohn, Ars Technica, "Pandemic Legacy: Season 2—The world’s “best board game” gets better," 18 Nov. 2017 He's riffled through the data of nuclear seismic data in years past and called out other researchers who credited the North Korean regime with nuclear blasts. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Seismic Detective Weighs In on North Korea's Latest Nuclear Test," 5 Sep. 2017 BEAGLE BRAINSTORMING De Boer quickly began riffling through YouTube videos to study different animal behaviors, but some of his research was more hands on. Jake Coyle, The Seattle Times, "For ‘Okja,’ growing a GMO pig from page to screen," 23 June 2017 The big sky flares deep pink and blue, riffled with puffy rows of high clouds. National Geographic, "How the Bay Area Is Restoring Nature's Delicate Balance," 13 June 2017 Pipe noted that in Butler’s otherwise immaculate home, there was evidence that someone had riffled through files in her home office and strewn them across the floor. Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post, "Suspect in death of Pamela Butler told witness it was ‘easy’ to get rid of a body," 25 Apr. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The passage will be about 15-feet wide with riffles and pools mimicking a natural waterway. Marc Daalder, Detroit Free Press, "Rouge River fish to get exclusive freeway at Ford's Fair Lane estate," 3 July 2018 Anglers should be able to start catching some near the log jams and any shallow riffle areas using white and chartreuse twister tails. Tyler Mahoney Special To The Star, kansascity, "Fishing report: Lakes and rivers around region reaching 60-degree mark | The Kansas City Star," 2 May 2018 Anglers should be able to start catching some near the log jams and any shallow riffle areas using white and chartreuse twister tails. Tyler Mahoney Special To The Star, kansascity, "Fishing report: Lakes and rivers around region reaching 60-degree mark | The Kansas City Star," 2 May 2018 Anglers should be able to start catching some near the log jams and any shallow riffle areas using white and chartreuse twister tails. Tyler Mahoney Special To The Star, kansascity, "Fishing report: Lakes and rivers around region reaching 60-degree mark | The Kansas City Star," 2 May 2018 Guadalupe bass, the jewel-like State Fish of Texas, holding in the rocky runs and riffles and hanging along the current seams or the shadows of undercut banks and otherwise behaving more like freshwater trout than a black bass. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Catch the good times rolling on the rivers," 12 May 2018 Anglers should be able to start catching some near the log jams and any shallow riffle areas using white and chartreuse twister tails. Tyler Mahoney Special To The Star, kansascity, "Fishing report: Lakes and rivers around region reaching 60-degree mark | The Kansas City Star," 2 May 2018 Restoration work, which was funded in part by a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, included improving the channel pattern, constructing riffles and additional floodplain, bank stabilization structures and native plantings. Sheila Vilvens, Cincinnati.com, "More than coffee found at Milford's The Main Cup," 2 May 2018 Anglers should be able to start catching some near the log jams and any shallow riffle areas using white and chartreuse twister tails. Tyler Mahoney Special To The Star, kansascity, "Fishing report: Lakes and rivers around region reaching 60-degree mark | The Kansas City Star," 2 May 2018

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

Verb

riffle entry 2

Noun

perhaps alteration of ruffle

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Dictionary Entries near riffle

rife with

riff

Riffian

riffle

riffle file

riffleman

riffler

Statistics for riffle

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for riffle

The first known use of riffle was in 1754

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More Definitions for riffle

riffle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of riffle

: to look through something quickly and not very closely

riffle

verb
rif·​fle | \ˈri-fəl \
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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Comments on riffle

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