[ reev ]
/ riv /

verb (used with object), rove or reeved, ro·ven or reeved, reev·ing. Nautical.

to pass (a rope or the like) through a hole, ring, or the like.
to fasten by placing through or around something.
to pass a rope through (the swallow of a block).

Nearby words

  1. reentry,
  2. reentry vehicle,
  3. reest,
  4. reet,
  5. reevaluate,
  6. reexam,
  7. reexamine,
  8. reexport,
  9. ref,
  10. ref.

Origin of reeve

1620–30; < Dutch reven to reef; see reef2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for reeving

British Dictionary definitions for reeving


/ (riːv) /


English history the local representative of the king in a shire (under the ealdorman) until the early 11th centuryCompare sheriff
(in medieval England) a manorial steward who supervised the daily affairs of the manor: often a villein elected by his fellows
canadian government (in certain provinces) a president of a local council, esp in a rural area
(formerly) a minor local official in any of several parts of England and the US

Word Origin for reeve

Old English gerēva; related to Old High German ruova number, array


/ (riːv) /

verb reeves, reeving, reeved or rove (rəʊv) (tr) nautical

to pass (a rope or cable) through an eye or other narrow opening
to fasten by passing through or around something

Word Origin for reeve

C17: perhaps from Dutch rēven reef ²


/ (riːv) /


the female of the ruff (the bird)

Word Origin for reeve

C17: of uncertain origin

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

Word Origin and History for reeving



"steward," Old English gerefa "king's officer," of unknown origin and with no known cognates. Not connected to German Graf (see margrave). An Anglo-Saxon official of high rank, having local jurisdiction under a king. Cf. sheriff.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper