- an opening made by splitting, cleaving, etc.; fissure; cleft; chink.
- an open space, as in a forest or cloud mass, or a clear interval.
- a break in friendly relations: a rift between two people; a rift between two nations.
- a difference in opinion, belief, or interest that causes such a break in friendly relations.
- a fault.
- a graben of regional extent.
- the plane or direction along which a log or mass of granite can most easily be split.
- wood or a piece of wood that has been split radially from a log.
- to burst open; split.
Origin of rift
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for rift
Her mother made demands about a big ceremony and caused a rift between them.A Sunni-Shia Love Story Imperiled by al Qaeda
December 26, 2014
The rift put Washington at odds with countries like Brazil, Uruguay or Chile, which seemed to have come to terms with their past.Venezuela Says Goodbye to Its Lil Friend, While the Rest of the Continent Cheers
December 20, 2014
Hagel sought to downplay any rift in a statement to Defense Department employees.Hagel Takes a Bullet for Obama: Inside the Defense Secretary’s Sudden Firing
Shane Harris, Tim Mak
November 24, 2014
But the rift was, not least, a matter of personalities and egos.ISIS and Al Qaeda Ready to Gang Up on Obama's Rebels
November 11, 2014
But if the rift with Iran widens, it could become a shadow enemy in Syria as the U.S. begins its war there.How Iran Could Become Our Shadow Enemy in the Syria ISIS War
September 16, 2014
To-day, however, there was a rift in these dark clouds of consequence.Jan and Her Job
L. Allen Harker
And then, because he could not shout and because he could not loosen himself, there came a rift in his madness.Happy Ending
Presently there was a rift in the clouds; and a red glow arose in the west.The Fat and the Thin
The rift was gradually widening, and the forest on either side thinned.The Night Riders
They believed the range might yet show a rift at this end which their wagons could traverse.When the West Was Young
Frederick R. Bechdolt
- a gap or space made by cleaving or splitting; fissure
- geology a long narrow zone of faulting resulting from tensional stress in the earth's crust
- a gap between two cloud masses; break or chinkhe saw the sun through a rift in the clouds
- a break in friendly relations between people, nations, etc
- to burst or cause to burst open; split
- a shallow or rocky part in a stream
- the backwash from a wave that has just broken
Word Origin and History for rift
early 14c., "a split, act of splitting," from a Scandinavian source (cf. Danish and Norwegian rift "a cleft," Old Icelandic ript (pronounced "rift") "breach;" related to Old Norse ripa "to break a contract" (see riven). Figurative use from 1620s. Geological sense from 1921. As a verb, c.1300.
- A continental rift.
- A narrow break, crack, or other opening in a rock, usually made by cracking or splitting.