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 [ 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

Havana’s nightly symphony of babies, televisions, dogs, car horns, conversations and slammed doors riffles easily through porous buildings – and not so plush. Kevin Spear, orlandosentinel.com, "Return to Cuba: Everything and nothing has changed," 11 July 2019 The officers had riffled through Becky and Philip’s belongings and seized their computers, cell phones, financial papers, and the mortar and pestle Philip had used to crush Becky’s pills. Ann Neumann, Harper's magazine, "Going to Extremes," 10 June 2019 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 Havana’s nightly symphony of babies, televisions, dogs, car horns, conversations and slammed doors riffles easily through porous buildings – and not so plush. Kevin Spear, orlandosentinel.com, "Return to Cuba: Everything and nothing has changed," 11 July 2019 The officers had riffled through Becky and Philip’s belongings and seized their computers, cell phones, financial papers, and the mortar and pestle Philip had used to crush Becky’s pills. Ann Neumann, Harper's magazine, "Going to Extremes," 10 June 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The last shot of the season shows Clay, Justin Foley (Brandon Flynn), and Jessica David (Alisha Boe) standing outside of Liberty, Clay holding Tyler’s massive assault riffle. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "The Timeline You Need To Understand 13 Reasons Why Season 3," 24 Aug. 2019 The waters below the first riffle in the lower parts of the river are possible locations for hungry walleye. D'arcy Egan, cleveland.com, "Lake Erie walleye fishing still a party, despite weather: May 21 Fishing Report," 21 June 2019 There was a merry rattle of dice and riffle of cards. Paula Allen, ExpressNews.com, "Olmos Park Terrace club’s visions of grandeur dashed by Depression, fire," 22 June 2019 Australia has some of the strictest gun laws, baning both assault riffles and other semiautomatic rifles and guns after the Port Arthur killings in 1996. Fox News, "At least four dead, two more injured after Australian gunman goes on shooting spree: reports," 5 June 2019 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

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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Dictionary Entries near riffle

rife with

riff

Riffian

riffle

riffle file

riffleman

riffler

Statistics for riffle

Last Updated

24 Aug 2019

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

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

More from Merriam-Webster on riffle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with riffle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for riffle

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about riffle

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