Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Word of the Year is...

riffle

[rif-uh l] /ˈrɪf əl/
verb (used with or without object), riffled, riffling.
1.
to turn hastily; flutter and shift:
to riffle a stack of letters; to riffle through a book.
2.
Cards. to shuffle by dividing the deck in two, raising the corners slightly, and allowing them to fall alternately together.
3.
to cause or become a riffle.
noun
4.
a rapid, as in a stream.
5.
a ripple, as upon the surface of water.
6.
Mining. the lining of transverse bars or slats on the bed of a sluice, arranged so as to catch heavy minerals, as gold or platinum.
7.
a hopper for distributing bulk material.
8.
the act or method of riffling cards.
Origin of riffle
1630-1640
1630-40; blend of ripple1 and ruffle1
Related forms
unriffled, adjective
Can be confused
riffle, rifle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for riffling
Contemporary Examples
  • One must be careful in riffling through history to draw insights for policy-making going forward: the lessons don't always apply.

Historical Examples
  • He had pulled a deck of cards from his hip pocket, and now was riffling them with pointed interest.

    Bred of the Desert Marcus Horton
  • It consists of riffling between the selected cards the proper number of indifferent ones.

    Sharps and Flats John Nevil Maskelyne
  • You could save a lot of time by taking carbon copies, suggested The Phantom, riffling the sheets lying beside the machine.

    The Gray Phantom Herman Landon
British Dictionary definitions for riffling

riffle

/ˈrɪfəl/
verb
1.
when intr, often foll by through. to flick rapidly through (the pages of a book, magazine, etc), esp in a desultory manner
2.
to shuffle (playing cards) by halving the pack and flicking the adjacent corners together
3.
to make or become a riffle
noun
4.
(US & Canadian)
  1. a rapid in a stream
  2. a rocky shoal causing a rapid
  3. a ripple on water
5.
(mining) a contrivance on the bottom of a sluice, containing transverse grooves for trapping particles of gold
6.
the act or an instance of riffling
Word Origin
C18: probably from ruffle1, influenced by ripple1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for riffling

riffle

v.

1754, "to make choppy water," American English, perhaps a variant of ruffle "make rough." The word meaning "shuffle" (cards) is first recorded 1894, probably echoic; hence that of "skim, leaf through quickly" (of papers, etc.) is from 1922. Related: Riffled; riffling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for riffling

riffle 1

noun

A hard swing at the ball; ripple: gives it a really good solid riffle

[1932+ Baseball; probably fr ripple fr rip]

riffle 2

noun

: Give that deck a good riffle

verb

To shuffle playing cards (1894+ Cardplaying)

[probably echoic]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for riffle

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for riffling

15
18
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for riffling