[ rahyf ]
/ raɪf /


of common or frequent occurrence; prevalent; in widespread existence, activity, or use: Crime is rife in the slum areas of our cities.
current in speech or report: Rumors are rife that the government is in financial difficulty.
abundant, plentiful, or numerous.
abounding (usually followed by with).

Origin of rife

before 1150; Middle English; Old English rīfe; cognate with Middle Dutch rijf abundant, Old Norse rīfr

Related forms

rife·ly, adverbrife·ness, nouno·ver·rife, adjectiveun·rife, adjective

Can be confused

rife ripe (see synonym study at ripe)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rife

British Dictionary definitions for rife


/ (raɪf) /

adjective (postpositive)

of widespread occurrence; prevalent or currentrumour was rife in the village
very plentiful; abundant
(foll by with) abounding (in)a land rife with poverty

Derived Forms

rifely, adverbrifeness, noun

Word Origin for rife

Old English rīfe; related to Old Norse rīfr generous, Middle Dutch rīve
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